More potholes from long winter a ‘major issue’

By Keisha Howerth

When the weather is warmer, DeKalb’s street operations division will use hotter asphalt to permanently patch up potholes.

The Public Works department is seeing more potholes this year than in previous years. Hot asphalt isn’t being used for potholes now because the winter weather cools it before it can properly set on the road.

Public Works Director T.J. Moore said cold patch asphalt is being used temporarily because some potholes need to be filled again.

“Some holes are repetitious because of the precipitation,” said Mark Espy, assistant public works director.

Espy said potholes will be more frequent once it gets warmer.

“Less snow is good, but the freeze-thaw cycle creates bigger potholes,” Moore said. “But once the snow is gone we can get ahead on the potholes.”

Lauren Unick, sophomore early childhood studies major, said she’s seen many potholes around DeKalb.

“It’s a major issue,” Unick said. “My mom blew a tire hitting a big one and scraped the side of her car.”

Unick said she doesn’t think road conditions will improve when temperatures increase.

“I wish it’d get better when it gets warmer, but it’ll be worse,” Unick said. “I just hope it’ll be fixed soon.”

Brittany Knight, staff member of NIU’s Cru organization, said it’s difficult getting to the campus because of the situation.

“[The potholes] are really inconvenient,” Knight said. “They’re hard to avoid.”

Though the number of potholes has grown, Moore said most residents have been understanding.

“There haven’t been as many complaints as expected,” Moore said.

Espy said motorists should keep their eyes open for potholes and contact the department if they see one.

“We can’t be everywhere at once, but we’re filling [them] as fast as we can,” Espy said. “We’re patching every day.”