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Public Works

Posted on: March 2, 2020

City of Bismarck Pothole Maintenance and Repair Operations

This winter has seen temperatures continually fluctuating above and below freezing, along with a mix of snow and ice storms resulting in a large number of potholes on city streets. City of Bismarck pothole filling and repair work is ongoing. The City makes pothole repairs year-round. The City of Bismarck Public Works Street Division is using every available resource to make repairs and pothole patching crews are working on City streets daily.


Potholes occur when snow and ice melt. The resulting water then seeps beneath the pavement through cracks caused by traffic. As the temperatures cool to freezing at night, the water becomes ice and expands below the pavement, forcing the pavement to rise. Due to it being an open winter with frequent freezing and thawing, and snow melt, we are experiencing an increase in potholes.


The Street Division uses a cold-mix asphalt that’s heated in a tow-behind, heated box – a temporary fix especially suited for winter weather. A more long-term fix the City uses, is a blend of small stone and liquid asphalt oil repair that does a better job of sealing out the moisture from snow melt.  Once the asphalt plants open in May (weather permitting) a more permanent repair can be made with hot mix.


Some large blow-out pothole patches will need to be made with crushed concrete and more permanent repairs will be made during the summer months when the hot-mix plants are open. Heavily traveled emergency routes are first priority; then, main arterial streets and residential areas.  An estimated 28,000 potholes were repaired in the City last year. 


Motorists are encouraged to slow down when approaching Street crews working busy roadways. 


To report a pothole, call 701-355-1700 or use the Citizen Request form online at: www.bismarcknd.gov, select Public Works.  For more information about street repairs visit https://www.bismarcknd.gov/250/Street-Repairs

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