Marshall, Michigan — March 13, 2015 – As the spring freeze thaw cycle begins the Calhoun County Road Department (CCRD) is reminding motorists that muddy gravel roads and potholes on asphalt roads will make for a bumpy ride. Due to the unusually deep frost this winter more potholes than normal are anticipated.
“Frequent temperature fluctuations combined with the erratic rain and/or snow, while the ground is thawing results in very unstable roadways,” stated Christopher Bolt, CCRD Managing Director.
Partially frozen ground under gravel roads is unable to absorb rain water or snow melt which makes many gravel roads muddy and unstable.
“CCRD graders are out on the gravel roads when conditions allow, but they are only able to perform minor improvements until the frost has diminished and the road bed has stabilized,” said Bolt
Paved roads are also suffering from the temperature fluctuations. Many cracks and voids in road surfaces are filled with water which freezes, expands and then melts leaving behind potholes. The expansion of the ice formation within and under the asphalt forces the road surface to fracture and heave. The temperature then rises melting the ice and leaving unbonded asphalt pieces in the road that will eventually work loose and are forced to the shoulder with continued vehicular traffic.
Managing Director Bolt considers this to be a priority situation and officially authorized overtime to assist in pothole repair. The goal is to stay ahead of the problem and repair areas as quickly as possible. CCRD takes these road defects very seriously and will continue to work days, nights and weekends to maintain a safe traveling network.
Potholes can be reported to the CCRD on our website, calhouncountyroads.com, by calling 269-781-9841 or by downloading the “SeeClickFix” app on your smartphone.