Warmer weather reveals pothole problems around Billings - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Warmer weather reveals pothole problems around Billings

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One section of Grand Avenue closed Monday as recent weather is creating pothole problems for Billings. 

One pothole has closed the northbound lane of Grand Ave. near the intersection of 8th Street West. Drivers traveling North on Grand Avenue (towards West End) are now being instructed to merge left just after the 8th St intersection.

During the first day of Grand Avenue's right lane closure Monday, numerous drivers waiting until reaching the merge sign to change lanes created traffic congestion backing up into the intersection. To avoid this, drivers should be aware of this upcoming merge and make the change sooner rather than later. 

While cones and a sign clearly mark this hazardous section of road, it's important drivers be on the lookout for other potholes problems revealing themselves around town as snow and ice continues to melt. 

Billings Deputy Public Works Director Vern Heisler said the city began pothole work last week. 

"When we have the moisture we've had so far, these freeze-thaw cycles are really hard on the streets," Heisler said.

Heisler said 3 crews and a pothole patching machine were out working Monday to fill potholes around town. Heisler said crews start with dry potholes, since a pothole has to be dry in order to be filled with the asphalt mix.

"The big key is that if there is water in the pothole and they can't stop it flowing in, they can't do much," Heisler said. 

Heisler said crews are currently using a "cold mix" to fill in potholes, as opposed to the "hot mix" of asphalt used during the summer.

"When the mix (we're filling with) is hot, it's easier to lay out and roll down and it makes for a good product, but at this time of year they use cold mix asphalt to fill potholes."

Heisler said crews are doing all that they can to maintain roads in the Billings area, but reminds everyone to be careful of potholes and to be careful of crews out working on them.

If you have a pothole to report, Heisler said you can contact the local traffic division at 406-657-8250.

We also welcome everyone to join our "pothole patrol" on KULR-8 and kulr8.com.

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