The City actually is patching pavement year round. Pot holes may form at any time in the year. In the winter, pot holes are patched with a special type of asphalt called “winter mix”. Winter mix uses a softer, stickier asphalt that can be compacted into a hole even in below freezing temperatures. Winter patches are mostly temporary as the mix warms with the spring and summer temperatures. The material becomes too soft to stay in place.
In the spring, summer and fall pavement defects and potholes are patched with “hot mix” asphalt. It is the same asphalt that is used to build new roads. Hot mix patches last at least a year to several years. Hot mix is not available until late March or April, depending on the weather conditions.
The City has its own asphalt plant. It is usually the first to open and the last to close in the metro area. The asphalt plant sells asphalt to other municipalities and contractors. In 2010, the City opened its plant on March 1, one of the earliest openings in its history. The early opening was prompted by an early spring pothole season, cold nights and warm sunny days.