Chelan County crews on pothole patrol

Posted By: Public Works on February 23, 2017

Chelan County crews on pothole patrol image

They’re annoying. They can be disruptive. And they seem to pop up overnight.

We’re talking about potholes.

The transition from winter to spring, a time that brings precipitation and lingering cold temperatures, oftentimes is when potholes become most noticeable on local roads.

But how does a pothole form?

It starts with water. Water can get under the pavement through cracks or from the side of the road. Over time, the water can cause the material under the pavement to erode, causing the pavement to sink down and break.

During winter, the water under the pavement freezes and then thaws -- oftentimes repeatedly. This cycle of contracting and expanding can cause the pavement to crack so that it deteriorates quickly under the weight of traffic. And then you have a pesky pothole.

In Chelan County, when you spot a pothole on a county roadway, you can go online to send a service request to Chelan County Public Works. Or call the office at 667-6415 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The County typically responds to pothole service calls within 48 hours. Crews use a polymer-modified cold asphalt that works in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures. It requires no mixing and little heat. Crews first sweep the area, removing any loose asphalt, rock or debris. They may use a torch to heat up the area. They then fill the hole with the cold-patch asphalt and it’s compacted using a hand tamper or by driving over it with the service truck.

Remember, the county only takes care of potholes in the county right-of-way. Potholes in driveways or on private roads are the responsibility of the property owner. Potholes in the city limits are the responsiblity of the city's road department.