How Potholes Are Formed

Potholes are created when the pavement, or the material under it, cannot support the weight of the traffic it carries. Traffic and water are two factors always present in this failure. High volumes of traffic, or traffic that is too heavy for the pavement design, can cause small hairline cracks in the pavement. These cracks can also be caused by age or expansion and contraction due to extremes in daily temperatures. Over time these cracks become larger.

Water can then seep in and soften the roadbed. Eventually the roadbed material shifts or oozes outward to the sides of the weakened point, leaving a void. The wheel load of passing vehicles causes the pavement to flex above the void and leads to weakening, more cracking and ultimately collapse. This process is accelerated in cold climates due to the expansion of the water as it freezes.

Excelsior's street crew patches potholes on a regular basis. Many repairs last indefinitely but a permanent patch may fail if the underlying drainage problem is not corrected or the bond between the patch and surrounding pavement was not achieved. When potholes become too large or numerous, partial or complete street reconstruction may be necessary.

Report a Pothole

Roads are maintained by three different entities throughout the City of Excelsior: The City of Excelsior, Hennepin County, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. To report a pothole on a city street, please call (952) 474-3464 between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or email the Public Works Department. On a county-maintained roadway call Hennepin County Public Works at (612) 348-9330. County-maintained roads include Mill Street and Oak Street (County Road 19). The Minnesota Department of Transportation repairs State Trunk Highway 7.

If you are unsure of who maintains a roadway, please call the Public Works Department at (952) 474-3464.