Table Of Contents
The Street Maintenance Division repairs thousands of potholes every year in Spokane. Potholes are common to cities that experience winter weather patterns that consist of many freeze-thaw cycles. Potholes are formed when moisture seeps into cracks in the surface of a road and freezes, causing the water to expand. When the ice thaws that space is left empty and combined with frequent or heavy traffic over the crack, causes the asphalt to break and fail. Check out this site for more information on Pothole Formation.
If you see a pothole, report it to the City's Pothole Hotline at 509-625-7733. Street Maintenance Crews are also proactive in looking for potholes and getting them repaired.
This picture shows a Street Maintenance employee spreading asphalt over a pothole and compacting it.
The Street Maintenance Division installs between 150,000 and 250,000 linear feet of crack sealant each year. Sealing cracks prevents moisture intrusion into the pavement, helping to prevent potholes from forming. Crack sealant is a hot tar material that forms to the crack and seals it off.
The picture to the left shows Street Maintenance employees installing crack sealant.
The Street Maintenance Division installs about 4 lane miles of skin patching a year. Skin Patching adds 1-2 inches of asphalt on top of existing pavement. Skin Patching is a temporary way to improve the surface of an extremely deteriorated street when there is not funding for a complete repair. Skin Patching will last about 2 to 3 years before the cracks in the original pavement propagate back to the surface.
The picture to the left shows Street Maintenance Crews install a skin patch.
Grind and Overlay
The Street Maintenance Division performs about 10 lane miles a year of grind and overlay. This process involves milling out 2-4 inches of asphalt to remove the failed pavement section and installing a new pavement section. This is typically only appropriate when the sub-base is structurally sound. This creates a pavement section that will last 7 to 10 years depending upon the volume of traffic. To improve the life of the overlay, crack sealant is applied along the joint between the old and the new pavement.
The picture to the left shows the milling process with the grindings being hauled off to use elsewhere.