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Potholes: Pesky Problem or Part of Winter?

When the weather's cold, the pavement cracks.

Acton crews find and patch potholes after every winter storm. Patch file photo
Acton crews find and patch potholes after every winter storm. Patch file photo

The extreme temperature swings so far this winter have been a perfect recipe for pothole production.

While those pain-in-the-neck pavement pocks have been opening up on Acton’s streets, crews routinely check for and patch up potholes as they’re found around town.

Two crews were out scouting for potholes this past Monday, according to Kevin Farrell, assistant superintendent for Acton’s Highway Division.

The potholes typically occur as rain seeps into roads through cracks and then freezes between layers, Farrell explained.  As the water freezes, it can cause frost heaves and pop the top layers of the roadway, creating potholes.

“Traditionally, we’ll send out a crew or two a day or sow after a storm to check for potholes,” Farrell said.

Highway Division crews will patch potholes throughout the winter, even if they are likely to reoccur, according to Farrell, who said the quick fixes will help lessen the chance of local motorists damaging their vehicles by hitting the dangerous divots. 

Some of the same conditions that lead to potholes popping up can also contribute to black ice, which Farrell said has been the biggest issue so far this winter

So what do you think? Are potholes a problem around Acton, or do you just consider them a part of New England winters? 

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