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It's officially pothole season in West Michigan

Crews are out filling potholes with cold patches. They pay attention to frequently patched roads this time of year, to determine repair projects.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — First comes Winter, then the holidays and New Year. Now, it's pothole season. 

West Michigan's freeze and thaw cycle recently has created damage to the pavement, resulting in potholes popping up across the area. County and City crews have been out filling the holes with a cold patch. 

"This time of year, it has to be a fairly deep pothole for this patch to work," said Jerry Byrne, Director of Operations for the Kent County Road Commission, "An inch hole isn’t a pothole we can fix this time of year. So, it needs to be deep enough for the cold patch. The patch is temporary at best, we’ll probably patch it three, four, five times until the weather warms up."

Byrne said they had about 20 people out filling potholes Wednesday, and another 10 to 12 scheduled for the evening shift. In the winter, when there isn't snow to plow, this is what the crew is doing. 

Some areas are known to need patching again and again. Byrne said his crews take notice of that and put it on a priority list for a permanent fix. 

"A lot of people say, 'Why don’t you know what you're going to do a year in advance?'" said Byrne, "Because, roads break up differently. We’ll save some money to know we’re going to go fix worst first come spring."

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Byrne asks drivers to slow down and pay attention to the potholes this time of year. Never drive over standing water; there could be an unseen, deep pothole. 

"It’s like wintertime driving, summertime driving, it’s pothole season," said Byrne, "You have to be thinking about that and be aware of it."

If you see a large, dangerous pothole or sinkhole, call 9-1-1 dispatch to repair it right away. Otherwise, you can report potholes online. 

First, determine the jurisdiction. The City of Grand Rapids has its own form online.

If not within a city limit, use the Kent County Road Commission's form.

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