Missoula Drivers Dodge Potholes - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Missoula Drivers Dodge Potholes

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MISSOULA -

Some of the ice on the roads is starting to melt away, but that doesn't mean conditions are improving.

City officials said they have already received calls reporting pot holes.

They say they are trying to get a handle on some bigger road problems, before they can bring their full attention to the pot holes.

It's not pothole season just yet, but the mechanics at Midas in Missoula are already dealing with the effects a pot hole can have on cars tire.

"We have had issues with potholes, tires being blown out, sidewalls, bent tire frames, alignment issues," said Midas Manager Shawn Moore.

They said the pothole problem hasn't been as bad as in previous years, but they said it's still early in the year.

"You know, you get the bad roads, the icy roads like this morning, and later in the year, about March and April, we get the pothole issue," Moore said.

Brain Hensel, the Superintendent of Missoula's Street Maintenance Division, said he's already had several people calling to report a pothole, but he said, right now his department has bigger fish to fry.

"Right now our biggest issue is the snow melting, and the subsequent black ice when temperatures drop below zero, and then trying to get the storm drains opened up with the flooding and the pooling," Hensel said.

City officials said the potholes are so full of water right now, it's hard to do much about them.

"There's really no way to fix them, until things dry up a little bit," Hensel said.

He said once the snow begins to melt, and the ice situation becomes less dangerous, in a month or so, the potholes will become a priority.

"I'm not saying we won't patch potholes if we get some between now and then. We patch potholes year round, but in the next few days, we're really focusing on the water issue," Hensel said.

As for Moore and his crew, he said most of the repairs they're working on now are due to the snow and ice, but he knows before long the potholes will be the bigger issue.

"I have seen the asphalt breaking up, it's still early. In March we'll have more issues," Hensel said.

Even though it's early in the year, the city urges you to report potholes if you see them.You can report a pothole by calling the Missoula Street Maintenance Division at (406) 552-6360, or by visiting their website.

 

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