The severe winter weather has taken a significant toll on City streets, with a large number of potholes appearing in streets around the community. The City is asking that all residents who see a pothole report it to the Public Works Department at 503.434.7316. Regardless of whether the pothole is on a major street or a residential street, residents are encouraged to notify Public Works. The City is currently working to provide a pot hole reporting tool on the City’s website as well. As that tool is implemented, the City will provide information through press releases and its website.
The City’s current program is to assess reported potholes within 1 business day of a report and to have temporary repairs in place within two business days from when a pothole is reported or found by City crews. All potholes are filled temporarily, and are prioritized for permanent repairs depending on their size, location in the street, traffic and pedestrian uses. Potholes that have been temporarily filled are monitored and filled as needed.
Filling and maintaining these potholes will continue to be a high priority for Street Maintenance crews. Crews are assigned each day to patrol areas with known problems and fill potholes as necessary. As new locations are reported or identified, crews will be dispatched to those areas to assess the pothole and fill it within 48 hours. New locations will be added to the inventory of sites being tracked for repairs.
Potholes are formed by the interactions between the age of the asphalt surface, weather, and traffic loads. As asphalt ages, it becomes more brittle, and can crack. Cracks can be temperature related, or from traffic loads. Rain water enters the road bed through cracks in the asphalt and is soaked up by the mix of rock, gravel or soil that forms the road base beneath the asphalt. Passing traffic loads pump the water through the saturated bed, and the road base loses some if its strength. The asphalt layer then begins to sink into the weakened road base, and eventually cracks under traffic loads. Surface holes are formed when chunks of asphalt break loose, creating a pothole. Freeze and thaw cycles can be part of the process, but that is more common east of the Cascades where freezing temperatures are much more common.
Not all streets within the City are the City’s maintenance responsibility. Both the Oregon Department of Transportation as well as Yamhill County have transportation facilities within within the City limits. If a reported pothole is on one of those streets, Public Works will forward that information to either of those agencies.
Visit the City’s website at www.mcminnvilleoregon.gov for continued information and updates on pothole repairs. Should you have any questions, please contact the McMinnville Public Works Division at 503.434.7316.