‘Potholes are everywhere’: DPW crews contend with particularly harsh winter

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‘Potholes are everywhere’: DPW crews contend with particularly harsh winter
Pieces of asphalt lay strewn around a deep pothole in Marlborough. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – Severe potholes across the region have frustrated local motorists in recent weeks. 

They’ve also kept road crews busy. 

With rapid temperature swings worsening a perennial pothole problem, officials note that the situations they’re facing are, indeed, more intense than usual this year.

“The problem is rampant across the state,” Marlborough’s Theodore Scott told the Community Advocate last week. “In Marlborough the potholes are everywhere.”

Scott works as the Assistant Commissioner of Operations for the city’s Department of Public Works.

Marlborough, he said, had continued to receive between 20 and 30 pothole reports per day as of Feb. 11. 

While they regularly field these kinds of complaints in a normal winter, DPW staff have recently been seeing issues in unexpected spots.

“In past years, we usually have several locations that are problematic,” he said. “This year, [potholes] are forming in roads that are in better condition.”

This year’s potholes are also “a lot bigger and deeper” Scott said. 

Departments share warnings

‘Potholes are everywhere’: DPW crews contend with particularly harsh winter
A car bounces through a pothole on Route 20 in Marlborough. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

Marlborough has joined area communities in sharing warnings about potholes in recent days and weeks. 

It has posted messages online and placed warnings on electronic signs around town. 

Please slow down and drive carefully,” the department wrote in one statement on social media earlier this month. 

Weather limits DPW response

Temperatures have swung wildly in recent weeks, rising back and forth between single digits to the mid 50s in just a matter of days. 

That, combined with heavy plowing after recent snowstorms has strained road surfaces, according to the Marlborough DPW. 

As the weather has created these potholes, crews have temporarily been prevented from filling them. 

Notably, water from melting snow poses a problem as crews must empty potholes before installing a patch.

“Otherwise, the water will freeze and pop the patch out,” Scott said. 

Though slowed by those types of issues, Scott said crews remained busy as of Feb. 15. 

Work will now likely continue for “several weeks,” weather permitting, due to the number, distribution and severity of Marlborough’s potholes, Scott added. 

Where chunks of asphalt, rock and gravel line area streets, these days, local officials reiterate calls for residents to report potholes. 

Those who come across locations needing repairs should contact their local Department of Public Works.

‘Potholes are everywhere’: DPW crews contend with particularly harsh winter
Water fills a pothole in Marlborough. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

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