Weather causes potholes

Feb 062007
Authors: Nikki Cristello

Potholes have threatened to swallow up cars all over Fort Collins due to the massive amount of snow in the past few months.

Last year, the city filled about 4,100 potholes. Since January, city officials estimate they have already filled more than 2,000, filling about 100 to 150 a day.

“It’s OK during the day, but at night the moisture freezes and expands, opening the crack further,” said Holli Keyser, an administrative support supervisor for Fort Collins. “Add traffic and the crack fails. This is when a pothole is born.”

Keyser said there are two ways to fill a pothole. One way uses manpower and the other uses a vehicle called a “spray patcher.”

While the spray patcher can fill potholes in under a minute, conditions have to be above 32 degrees.

A team of usually two workers uses a “cold mix” and a shovel to fill the holes.

Each pothole costs an average of $14.05 to fill.

Keyser said the only year comparable to this year is 2003, when 9,500 potholes were filled and $120,000 was spent.

Austin Adams, a 22-year-old senior civil engineering major, said his SUV is just as sensitive to the potholes as a small car would be.

“There are potholes in my apartment’s parking lot that I hit every time I pull in,” Adams said. “It’s hard on my car and what’s worse, it’s unavoidable. One pothole stretches the entire span of the street.”

Cleveland Muller, store manager of Discount Tires at 1751 S. College Ave., said potholes can be tough on all cars.

“We are busier in the winter months,” he said. “But I don’t think our business has increased because of the potholes.”

Staff writer Nikki Cristello can be reached at


To report a pothole the city may not be aware of, call 221-6614 or visit

Since Jan. 1 about 80 reports have been made.

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