The City of Highland Park maintains about 155 miles of paved road.  Every spring, streets in northern climates such as ours develop potholes and after the winter we’ve had, this season is shaping up to be one of the worst.  Public Works crews are out in force filling holes, but new ones are popping up every day with the extreme freeze thaw cycle.

Are there more potholes this year?

It sure seems like it.  For certain, they are out earlier.  Potholes are the result of prolonged harsh winter weather combined with a sudden rise in temperatures resulting in pavement failure.  With this year’s intense winter season and the arrival of warmer temperatures, more and worse potholes than usual are forming.  It’s bad everywhere.

When will they be fixed?

Because asphalt plants are generally not open until April when the weather warms up, pothole repairs in cold weather are done using a “cold patch” process.  This temporarily fills the potholes, but does not bond to stay and the potholes quickly reappear.  When the weather is warmer and the asphalt plants re-open, “hot-mix patches” can be used.  These have better staying/bonding power as the materials are able to meld with the street surface.

On average, over the past 3 years, the Public Works Department has invested approximately 6,200 man hours per year towards the pothole repair program.   We are working to fill the potholes as quickly as possible, but until the weather warms up, they will be temporary fixes.

If you see a particularly egregious stretch of road, let us know by calling thepothole hotline at 847-432-1178.  Also, the State and County are responsible for many of our major roads (such as Rt. 41, Half Day Road, Lake Cook) and we need to coordinate street repairs with them.

So, thanks for your patience.  And by the way, the guys doing the pothole repairs? They are the same guys who drive the plows and fix the water mains. Join me in thanking them.  It’s been one heck of a season.

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