Pothole Repair

The Streets Department is responsible for patching and repairing potholes in all city streets.

Report a Pot HolePot Hole.jpg

To report a pothole, contact the Streets Department at 763-635-1120 or complete an online report/request.

Portrait of a Pothole

Most potholes start as a crack in the road surface. When combined with moisture, multiple freeze-thaw cycles, and de-icing chemicals a pothole begins to form. The expansion-contraction effect breaks up small sections of road surface. These small cracks are soon expanded by the action of vehicle traffic. As vehicles tend to bounce going through one pothole, the repeated impact soon breeds another pothole.

Potholes are most abundant on older sections of streets for two reasons:

  • First, the older surface tends to become brittle, making it prone to cracks and breakage. 
  • Second, the quality of base used in some of the older areas is substandard for the heavier loads and higher volume of traffic our streets now carry.


The best solution is to remove, excavate, and reinstall the substandard streets. This remedy is expensive and must be accomplished in the summer construction season.

The most immediate solution is patching. During prime pothole season (March and April), the only bituminous material available is a non-hardening asphalt/sand mixture called "winter mix." The best performance anyone can even hope for from winter mix is that it remain in the potholes until the hot-mixed, hardening type asphalt mixtures become available. Many of the holes will have to be patched several times with winter mix before they can be repaired with hot mix. A hot mix repair may only last one year, so if there seems to be more potholes this year than last, it could easily be true!