Springtime Means Pothole Season in Northern Michigan

"Spring time in Traverse City means potholes, especially with all this wet weather." Jamie Laferriere, Owner of Dave's Garage

Tc PotholeMany people would say, ‘isn’t pothole season everyday in Northern Michigan?’ To an extent those people are right, but this time of year potholes are even more prevalent. The Superintendent for the Grand Traverse County Road Commission, Jay Saksewski, says this time of year we see temperatures change quick.

“We have rain, we have additional surface water that’s coming on. That freeze thaw effect this time of year is why we affectionally know it as pothole season,” Saksewski explains.

Potholes are created when water seeps into cracks in the road and this time of year it will freeze then thaw over and over again. That causes cracks to then deepen and widen.

“And eventually with the passage of more vehicles, that surface breaks apart and it actually gets pushed down into that soft road bed. And that’s what we know as a pothole,” Saksewski describes.

The road commission says crews are responding to requests, but says drivers should stay diligent and travel at safe speeds. The Owner of Dave’s Garage in Traverse City, Jamie Laferriere says they’re starting to see a lot of customers come in with bent wheels and alignment issues.

“We’ve seen everything with potholes. We’ve seen on the small side, flat tires all the way up to major suspension work which requires a tow truck,” Laferriere claims.

Laferriere says it’s something we all have to keep in mind this time of year.

“It’s just something every year we deal with here, especially in Traverse City. We all know the areas where these potholes are at and some of them have graduated to sinkholes,” Laferriere laughs.

The road commission is telling drivers to be aware of their surroundings and the road conditions. Saksewski advises drivers to be safe and travel at safe speeds.

“An area that could have been smooth the day before could have a pothole today,” Saksewski says.

The Grand Traverse County Road Commission wants drivers to let them know if they see a pothole. You can contact their office to create a service request, or click here to complete a service request online.