Pothole problem just isn't going away - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Pothole problem just isn't going away

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PROVIDENCE -

Just as Department of Public Works crews fill a new pothole, it doesn't mean the problem is fixed.

In fact, it's almost guaranteed to come back.

The city of Providence said its doing its best to patch up the potholes. Crews are out every day but the material to fill the potholes isn't available in the winter months.

The problem, it's only a patch, a cold patch to be exact, and not a permanent solution.

"It's not a panacea to the problem, it doesn't always perform as well, the cold weather doesn't help at all," said Bill Bombard of the Providence Public Works.

A cold patch is a mix of asphalt and oil to make it stick to the ground. But as soon as it rains or snows, the material will become loose and the hole will come back.

What works best is hot asphalt that binds to the pavement.

"The asphalt plants shut down for winter months. We can't use hot mix asphalt. We're using cold mix or a high-performance patch material," Bombard said.

Will Flores fixes tires on Valley Street and he said the temporary fix isn't doing any good.

"I've got one pothole across the street. They fill it in and now it's back to the same hole it was before. It only took about two weeks," he said.

Bombard said there's a chance some of the hot asphalt could be made available by March 1.

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