there are many potholes on the roadway


If your love of the open road is being tested lately in Wausau, officials now have a pothole hotline to report poor road conditions on city streets.

Mayor Rob Mielke unveiled what he termed the “pot-hole hotline” in his winter “Mayor’s Message,” which is sent to every household in the city.

The pothole hotline for Wausau is 715-261-6688.

Potholes are created when the top layer of pavement and the material beneath—called the base or sub-base—cannot support the weight of the traffic. Two factors are always present in such a failure: traffic and water.

Pothole patching is performed either as an emergency repair during harsh conditions, or as routine maintenance scheduled for warmer and drier periods, according to the American Public Works Association. Typically, emergency repairs are done only when a pothole presents a substantial safety or traffic operational problem and must be urgently corrected. For example, a large pothole on a major arterial has contributed to collisions by causing drivers to swerve to avoid or lose control after hitting it. Or, one or more large potholes hinder the flow of traffic causing unusual slow-down and congestion.

Potholes near activated traffic signals may expose embedded loop sensor wires, and when they break, the signals will not be responsive to traffic demands. Emergency repairs usually are done in heavy traffic and can be a safety risk to maintenance workers. Repairs that are more permanent can be scheduled for times when weather and traffic are more conducive to safe operations.

“Depending on the weather conditions, most pot-holes will be repaired and dealt with promptly,” Mielke said, in his “Mayor’s Message.”