To report a pothole, or for other street-related questions or comments, please call 303-450-4001.
Potholes are more than a nuisance. They can impede the flow of traffic and cause damage to vehicles, so the city makes every effort to repair potholes in a timely manner.
The most common contributing factors resulting in potholes are:
• Natural aging of the asphalt
• Failure of the water or sewer infrastructure beneath the street
• Increased traffic and heavy trucks, which stress the pavement, resulting in cracks
• Water seepage into the pavement through cracks
- This can cause softening of the base and eventual shifting of the base material, which leaves little support for the surface pavement.
- The freeze/thaw action on the water that has seeped through the cracks causes heaving and buckling, which leads to the development of potholes.
Most small potholes can be repaired by filling the hole with loose asphalt, then compacting it with a vibratory plate or rolled with a steel drum. This method is called a 'cold patch' and is considered a temporary fix. The 'hot patch' method uses heated asphalt and will last a little longer than a cold patch.
Larger areas of damaged or weakened pavement may require more extensive work. The pavement area in question is marked off in a rectangle or square. The old asphalt is removed and a tack coat of liquid asphalt is applied to the bottom and sides of the excavated area. Heated asphalt is then used to fill the hole and is compacted with a vibratory plate or steel drum roller.
Street overlays, in which asphalt is applied to the entire street, are determined on an as-needed basis, prioritized by traffic volume and extent of deterioration. The number of streets repaired by this method is determined by prioritization and available funding. Current staffing levels do not allow this to be done by city crews and is considered a Capital Improvement Project (CIP), which is performed by a private contractor.