How Sioux City decides which potholes to patch

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:04 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - No doubt you’ve seen potholes that pepper Sioux City’s 500 miles of streets.

The streets department says they fix the “wheel thumpers” first, the ones that pose the greatest risk. But they also rely on the public to let them know when one pops up.

And It may not always feel like it, but Sioux City’s roughly 18 pothole fixers work 24/7. They’ll first work on the city’s primary roads, otherwise known as the snow routes, before moving on to side streets.

“In the wintertime, the road shrinks up and kind of pulls away and allows for water infiltration to get in the road surface. And then in the evenings, it freezes and creates that small little spot in the road surface, the pothole can be formed,” said Patrick Simons, the Sioux City superintendent of streets.

The secret to patching some of these potholes is actually tree sap. It acts as a kind of glue, bonding that black asphalt to the road hopefully making the patchwork just a little bit longer.

“And as I said, we try and prioritize those the best we can. Unfortunately, we’re only allotted so much for funding that we can put toward that. But we try and do as much in-house as we can,” said Simons.

Crews first blow out the debris in the pothole, then use the glue, and finally add asphalt. The public can report a pothole by completing a form on the city’s website here.