What About Those Potholes?

February 2, 2021 at 10:00 am

This is the time of year when potholes start to pop up more frequently and as a result, we've been getting a lot of questions.

We all know wintertime is the time of potholes. While they cause concern for all of us, they drive our Public Works Department crazy. It's similar to playing a game of wack-a-mole; as soon as you repair one, another pops up! Potholes can appear seemingly overnight, even in areas that look solid and in good shape.  To make matters more challenging, recently repaired potholes are constantly tested by Colorado winters.

Potholes are caused by water seeping into roadway cracks. This water expands inside of the pavement as it freezes, creating a weak patch. The Colorado winters, along with the snowstorms that come with them, make the situation worse with the freeze-thaw cycle.

Improving Our Pothole Program

The City of Castle Pines has a comprehensive program to address potholes in our community. Our Public Works Department is looking at new methods, materials, and processes to help pothole repairs last longer. The City is currently testing a material on several spots along Castle Pines Parkway and Monarch Blvd. So far, the test patches are showing some wear and tear, but as a whole are still providing the community excellent results, almost 6 months later. As a result, the product has now become the new standard for concrete road patching in the City of Castle Pines.

If you notice a new pothole on Castle Pines roads, report it online here.

Repairing potholes is only one of the many tasks included in the City's comprehensive street maintenance program. They will be discussing the details of this spending at an upcoming Council meeting; agendas are posted online.

For those who are looking for even more details on potholes and the materials we use, please see below.


Background

Last year, one of the biggest challenges the ROW Maintenance group faced was the high failure rate of the temporary asphalt patches along Castle Pines Parkway and Monarch Boulevard. The patch crew would deploy and complete pothole repairs, then depending on the specific section of road, one or two snowstorms later, the pothole returned. The sections of roadways with the shortest pothole repair life involves freeze/thaw drainage cycles sending water across the roadway versus staying in the flow line of the curb and gutter. The water seeps under the patch, goes through a couple of freeze/thaw cycles, and the patch is displaced again.

Evaluation

At the end of last year’s snow season, conversations among the ROW Maintenance crews and staff occurred to discuss alternative pathing solutions for the concrete roadways. After consultation with material suppliers, they suggested a material for the repair of potholes on concrete roads, a tested and approved product that is widely used by CDOT and DIA due to its structural and application qualities.  As a team, we decided to formally test this product due to the destructive nature of the freeze/thaw cycles experienced by the City. This product allows us to remove to a 2” depth area of deteriorating pavement, make the repair, and be rubber tire rated in 45 mins, this allows for reduced traffic disruption, providing a more permanent solution.

Implementation

The initial test sections were placed on Castle Pines Parkway between Lagae and Village Square drive late last summer. The primary area of focus for this first round of patch repairs included a specific area of Castle Pines Parkway where water from the irrigation system, in the summer and snow melting in the winter, runs across Castle Pines Parkway, down the median, and then back across Castle Pines Parkway to a drainage inlet on the same side of the road as the source. This area, even without freeze/thaw cycles experienced failures throughout the summer months requiring continuous attention. During one event last summer the irrigation line stuck on overnight and recently completed asphalt patches were destroyed and required emergency attention. In a recent review of the initial patches completed last summer, they are showing some wear and tear, but as a whole are still providing the community excellent results, almost 6 months later.

Future

The ROW Maintenance crews and staff continue monitoring all of these patches, and their performance has met all expectations. ROW Maintenance Crews and staff continuously investigate alternatives for pothole repair on the City’s concrete roadways; however, with the performance currently realized, it has become the new standard for concrete road patching in the City of Castle Pines.