OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha is enjoying some warm weather, but as we thaw out, potholes are beginning to pop up around the city once again.
Potholes make their appearance almost every year.
With a little rain and snow, and then a drop in temperature, moisture in the street freezes and expands. After it thaws, there’s some space where that roadway has shifted. Add about 4,000 pounds of vehicle on top of it, and you’re going to see some cracked asphalt.
Omaha City Engineer Todd Pfitzer says the city is working overtime to get the holes patched.
“We’re hitting it as hard as we can," Pfitzer said. "We’re putting in 12 hour shifts when necessary. We unfortunately don’t have access to hot mix asphalt.”
The hot mix isn’t available until around March or April, so the city is using cold patch which Pfizter admits is a less permanent solution.
If we see more snow or rain in the future, the city will likely have to come back to fix these potholes again.
“It's all we have this time of year, literally," Pfitzer said.
Currently, dozens of potholes have been reported in the past two days alone. The gray icons represent what has been addressed, while the blue represents what is still needing to be fixed.
Here's a look at some of the potholes that have been reported in Omaha in the past few days. Grey represents what has already been addressed by the city, and blue represents what still needs to be fixed. https://t.co/fRhgbIunaV pic.twitter.com/XQoHS6ubCJ— Jessika Eidson KMTV (@JessikaEidsonTV) February 25, 2021
The city works on major roadways first, and only after those have been addressed will they go into neighborhoods.
In the meantime, drivers are having to navigate the patchy streets, sometimes damaging their vehicle in the process.
Rick Bettger, owner of Omaha Car Care, says the top issue is tire damage.
“Sometimes its pretty apparent when your tire blows, but sometimes the internals on the tire become bad which means a belt could shift and a tire could come out of round, or a rim gets bent and then you’ll have a slow leak," Bettger said.
Drivers should also keep an eye on their steering and shocks, making sure their car isn’t pulling to one side. Bettger says he’s not expecting pothole season to be as bad as what we saw in 2019.
“We’re getting late in the season, so it might not be horrible," Bettger said.
Just remember to drive slow, especially in areas covered by water where potholes might be hiding.