Welcome to pothole season | AspenTimes.com

Welcome to pothole season

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Spring has sprung, and so has pothole season.

Although this winter caused storm drains to routinely freeze, Aspen Streets Department director Jerry Nye said many of Aspen’s roads haven’t been seriously affected by a pothole problem.

The Colorado Department of Transportation takes care of any ruts along Main Street, and Nye said he has only gotten three calls this winter about cavernous dents in the city’s pavement.

“Most of our streets are in real good shape,” Nye said. “There are some potholes on Doolittle [Court] that the county will be doing some work on.”

Nye said storm drains in Aspen froze this winter because of the cold temperatures. But without an adequate amount of snow cover, any moisture that ran into the drains froze and caused flooding problems. However, Aspen resident Jim Markalunas said this winter’s frequent cycles of freezing and thawing have wreaked havoc on his street in the West End.

“I think this was one of the worst years for freeze/thaw cycles,” he said. “It was warm enough in the daytime to thaw ice, and since the water freezes everything at night my street has terrible potholes, although they do work as a traffic-calming device on my street, which I don’t mind.”

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Nye said his department is in the process of getting streets scraped, swept and flushed of the sand that was used all winter to make traction easier for vehicles.

“We’re busy watching temperatures so that the water we use to clean the streets doesn’t freeze and doesn’t cause flooding problems,” he said. “Right now, people are seeing all the dirty roads that the snow is melting, and some people have reported chunks of ice they thought were potholes.”

Anyone wishing to report a pothole in the Aspen city limits can call the Aspen Streets Department at 920-5130.