Colder weather this late in the year could lead to more potholes, officials say

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The cold weather in New Mexico could continue to take a toll on roads. The freezing and thawing causes potholes.

Cracks in the road could be popping up more often, according to a spokesperson with the New Mexico Department of Transportation. NMDOT reps said it’s been a typical year for potholes and cracks so far, but with many colder-than-average days in late March, there could be more problems.

“You’re still seeing moisture that’s on the roadway. It’s freezing and thawing, and with that freeze/thaw effect, we find ourselves still battling some potholes and cracking on our roadways,” said NMDOT spokesperson Travis Martinez.

He is with District 4, which includes Las Vegas, an area that has seen quite a bit of freezing and thawing over the last few weeks.

“At times the asphalt can pop and that creates a pothole,” Martinez said.

Crews can fill them in, but that’s temporary maintenance.

“That is a Band-Aid that’s going to allow us to get through the winter system,” Martinez said.

In the coming weeks, when temperatures consistently stay above 40 degrees, crews can start crack-sealing, which is proper pothole patching.

Elsewhere, the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office said there will be repairs on a stretch of I-40 that has a lot of potholes. It’s eastbound on Gallup’s west side with work happening on Monday and Tuesday nights.

In January, KOB 4 reported on pothole problems in the Four Corners, where crews said they’ve patched thousands of them.

Repair shops in Farmington are reporting an increase in damaged cars as a result.

New data from earlier this month shows the cost of potholes is adding up.

An AAA study showed one out of every ten drivers that hit a pothole had enough damage to need a repair.

People can report potholes to the proper agency. For example, NMDOT and the city of Albuquerque have online portals.