Driving on the roads after a January thaw can make for a relatively smooth ride, that is until you come across a spot where you have to drive over potholes that were hidden underneath layers of snow and ice.
"A bad stretch of road is not fun for anyone," said Dan Ruiz, Brooklyn Park's director of operations and maintenance. "It makes for a bumpy ride. We don't want people spilling their coffee. We don't want any tire damage or suspension damage."
Ruiz says potholes aren't a huge problem in Brooklyn Park just yet, however, he knows that won't always be the case.
"With any January thaw where we get above 32 degrees, we see the freeze/thaw cycle from daytime to nighttime, and that can spring potholes.
One of the trouble spots in need of attention is along 63rd Avenue.
"Today we're patching potholes with our cold mix," said Brandon Vogel, a public service worker with Brooklyn Park. "Just kind of an easy fix for now until we can get hot mix in the spring time."
Vogel was part of a two-man crew that was working hard to stay on top of the problem before the potholes became a predicament.
"I mean, these ones are big and all, but I don't think they're going to do any damage," Vogel said. "But for now we just want to cover up the holes and make it a little easier drive for people."
Such is life in the world of street maintenance, where a temporary fix now will eventually require a more permanent fix later.
"Once the ground starts to unfreeze you'll start to see more holes in the road and it'll start to break apart a little bit more," he said.
Only Mother Nature knows just how bad the roads will look come springtime. Until then, the street maintenance crews will be proactive, while also hoping for an early end to winter.
"On a good year, we might be done pothole patching by June, doing a full city round of that," Ruiz said. "On a bad year, it might take us all the way to August or September before we do a full round of pothole patching."
This time of year, Ruiz said the city isn't actively hunting for potholes, but they are asking Brooklyn Park residents to report any they see.
People can report potholes in Brooklyn Park by calling (763) 493-8007 or by going to BrooklynPark.org/contact
Jan. 18, 2017