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‘It’s winter in Wisconsin:’ Constant freezing, thawing wreaks havoc on roads

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MEQUON -- Officials in the City of Mequon are urging residents to keep an eye out for potholes. The constant freezing and thawing is wreaking havoc on the city's roadways.

Freeze, thaw impacting roads

"I've lived in Mequon -- we moved in probably 32, 33 years ago now," said Rich Kolbe.

Kolbe has become used to the ebb and flow of cold weather conditions.

"It's winter in Wisconsin, deal with it right? This is what we signed up for," Kolbe said.

In Mequon's City Hall bulletin, officials warned that recent freezing and thawing is making the roadways more susceptible to "frost heave." That is the uplifting of soil when temperatures take a drastic dip.

"That's the law of physics," Kolbe said.

Freeze, thaw impacting roads

Mequon's silty, clay soils have even more potential to expand underground.

Marianne Basso

"Contract, expand and then when the weather's warm --  leave a bunch of cracks, potholes all over," said Marianne Basso, Mequon resident.

Some of those cracks are making appearances now.

"It's an ongoing thing because of our weather, but I do feel like when we have a tough winter, they get worse," Basso said.

Basso is a dog walker... "so I'm out and about all the time, everyday regardless of the weather," Basso said. Yet, she says isn't concerned with current road conditions.

Freeze, thaw impacting roads

"How can they keep on top of it at all times? So to reassess periodically is a good thing," Basso said.

Freeze, thaw impacting roads

Crews from Mequon's Department of Public Works have been patching some of the lifted pavement. Permanent repairs will not be made until spring -- to allow for fluctuating temperatures that may lead to more damage.

"That's very understandable," Kolbe said.

Until those repairs are made, officials suggest drivers keep the tires on their vehicles properly inflated -- and as always, be cautious when driving in wintry conditions.

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