Bozeman street crews race to fill potholes


BOZEMAN, Mont. - Anybody driving in Bozeman in the spring knows it's important to look out for potholes, a growing concern.

"They're not awesome right now," Bozeman driver Kelsey Holmes laughed. "They're pretty bad."

Larry Ruhd is foreman of the Bozeman Street Department. He and his crews are out at 3 a.m. racing to fill potholes that developed over the winter.

He explained, "We get them as clean as we can, then put some fill in it and hopefully it will stay until the next freeze-thaw."

They use a product called E-Z Street. But that's only temporary. That is because spring conditions are are usually too wet to use stronger patching material, and fluctuating temperatures damage the patch.

Rhud mentioned, "Water seeping into the cracks, and its freezing, and it breaks up a little more. It just keeps on breaking up."

Once conditions dry out, crews can use a stronger fill mix, combined with a tack oil, to more permanently bond new asphalt to the old.

Ruhd told NBC Montana it's a constant game of catch-up until the temperatures rise and streets dry out.

"Always patching it, all the time. Continuously," he said, "Then it will have to wait until May, June, when weather's permitting."

Ruhd also tells us Bozeman street crews need your help, as they rely on calls to the city to know where to work.

He told us, "We like to have people that do see it call in on the pothole hotline and we'll see to it as soon as we can."

Until they can catch up, residents will have to take it slow.

Another Bozeman driver, Patrick Hessman said, "I'm sure I'm far from the only person that's probably had suspension damage to their car."

Bozeman has a special hotline for reporting potholes: 582-3208. Leave a message with the name of the street and block the damage is on.

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