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Temps wreak havoc on Wausau’s streets

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 5:58 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As warmer temperatures are melting the snow off of Wausau roadways, they sometimes uncover an ugly reality underneath--potholes. The water that gets into the cracks in the road is the culprit. Once temperatures drop and water freezes, cracks in the pavement expand.

“It actually creates those potholes and it exacerbates them tremendously with the moisture, melting, and everything that’s going on right now,” Ric Mohelnitzky Public Works superintendent said.

Cycle of pothole
Cycle of pothole(Wisconsin DOT)

Overtime that small bump in the road can turn into a serious problem, and put cars in the auto shop.

“Sometimes you can damage a rim, crack your rim. Even damage some of your suspension components if it’s a large enough pothole,” Olson Tire’s manager Aaron Olson said.

Before damage goes too far, experts suggest getting routine checkups. That way you can catch any problems that could cost you later on.

“Especially after winter, your inflation level can drop a little bit so make sure your tires are inflated. Check your suspension and get the alignment check at least once a year. That’s a good habit,” Olson said.

To help cars stay out of the shop, Public Works is doing their part as well. Getting to potholes as fast as they possibly can.

“Right now is a critical time that we try to get after them right away because if we let them go they get larger and larger as the days go on as the weeks go on. Also more damage to vehicles,” Mohelnitzky said.

Wausau residents are also asked to keep an eye on the roads and let Public Works know about any potholes that need fixing.

“They can be our eyes out there. It’s good for them to call those in. If we get multiple calls that’s basically where we probably have a real bad area we have to address right away,” Mohelnitzky said.

You can find the information to call in a pothole near you, here.

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