City crews work to fill potholes

By Clarence Plank: PNT Staff Writer

Road crews have been working to fix those pesky potholes springing up like wildflowers in Spring.

Three city crews have been scattered around town fixing holes created by the combination of cold and wet, snowy weather.

Street department Director Jerry Rose said potholes start when moisture penetrates the asphalt.

“When it freezes it pops the asphalt up,” Rose said. “Once you get a little hole, the traffic just beats it out making it bigger.”

Usually after a snow or ice storm, the first signs of potholes begin to take shape. The majority of streets around Portales have potholes due to the rain, ice, snow and cold.

“We try to sweep out all the loose gravel and standing water,” Rose said. “Then we fill it in and roll over it to compact it, with an asphalt sealer. The past few days we’ve had crews out trying to keep up with the potholes.”

Crews repaired different areas on Tuesday and will be out again Wednesday.

“One of the real bad areas is Kilgore Avenue from Third to 18th streets,” Rose said. “Water doesn’t have anywhere to go on the east side of the road and it just puddles and it just gets under (the road) there.”

Some holes around town still have standing water in them. He added that some potholes are problem areas under state jurisdiction.

New Mexico Department of Transportation spokesperson Manon Arnett said potholes on U.S. 70 are scheduled to be repaired next week, depending on the weather.