Motorists in all corners of Iowa are trying to dodge the growing collection of potholes as the high number of freezes and thaws this winter has been particularly tough on our roads — and our cars’ suspensions. In Cedar Rapids, public works director Dave Elgin estimates the city will have 100,000 potholes to repair this season, far more than last year.
“In 2013, we filled 68,000 potholes,” Elgin says. “We do have more severe frost penetration this year. We do have more streets that are in poorer condition than they were last year because of the need for repair.” Elgin says he hasn’t seen his city’s streets this bad since the winter of 2007. “When it refreezes, it lifts it up, separates the joint further, cracks the pavement more severely, lets water go in on the next freeze-thaw cycle,” Elgin says. “Then when traffic goes over it, pounding on it, that fractures the pavement even more.”
Cedar Rapids residents are asked to notify the city of difficult-to-navigate streets, and there’s a smartphone app that lets users take geo-located pictures of potholes and submit them to the city.