BRATTLEBORO — With the warmer temps, potholes are being patched up around town.
“We’re trying,” Public Works Director Dan Tyler said Thursday. “We’re out there whenever we can. Be patient.”
Tyler isn’t sure if potholes are worse this winter than any other year, and so far, the town hasn’t had more claims or calls about vehicle damage than usual.
“This last storm, we had some freeze cycles, and then that rain really brought them out,” he said. “Then there’s a lot of water on the road from all the snowmelt. So it’s been hard.”
Tyler said when the holes are full of water, it doesn’t make sense to patch them up.
His crews have been taking advantage of the nice weather to patch as many potholes as they can. They were busy at Western Avenue this week.
“We paved a shim from about Greenleaf Street toward Academy School,” Tyler said. “We did a big chunk then we did some big patches on the west end, so from Greenleaf Street west, which really has helped keep that end together.”
Tyler said the east end of Western Avenue and High Street have some “pretty big holes ... typical of what we see on the avenue,” he said.
Other busy areas, such as Canal Street and Putney Road, also have big potholes. Tyler said the department tries to focus on those areas because of their heavy traffic volumes.
“We’ll be out whenever weather allows,” he said. “Asphalt plants around here aren’t open this time of year, so we’re limited to what we can do.”
Tyler said, since big paving projects can’t happen in cold weather, it’s not worth it for asphalt plants to run just for municipalities and contractors patching potholes. They don’t sell enough mix to justify opening.
“So we’re stuck with what we have,” Tyler said.
The town has enough material to get through the winter. Tyler said the department saves extra asphalt from summer projects then heats it back up; the department also buys cold patch.
Cold patch is more of temporary solution. Tyler said it’s made with a different liquid asphalt that’s more flexible in cold weather and doesn’t harden up when it cools down like normal hot asphalt.
“We try to get out there and at least mark the big ones if we can’t patch them immediately,” he said.