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Sioux Falls Sees Smoother Streets



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A mild winter has its pros and cons and for the city of Sioux Falls, the nice temperatures have showed some changes on the streets.

Normally during winter, people could drive across major potholes, but this season, drivers have seen less and less of them.

That’s because over the last two years during spring and summer, city workers have put an emphasis on fixing bad roads along with sealing holes or cracks in the streets.

"We're kind of reaping the benefits of repairing those roads and making them better," said Huber.

Galynn Huber, Street/Utilities Manager with the city of Sioux Falls, said potholes happen when water seeps into cracks or holes in the road, freezes, causing the asphalt to separate, creating hazards for drivers.

"Normally you'd have to slow down or if you don't there's a possibility you could have front end alignment issues, or you swerve. It's just not safe driving conditions," said Huber.

To prevent this from happening, roads need to be sealed up, keeping water out, which is hard to do in the winter time when it snows or when snow melts as temperatures warm.

Compared to past years, city workers spent a lot of time fixing potholes during the warm months leading up to winter, hoping to reduce the number of holes in the road and the hard work is paying off.

Such as being able to focus on other types of needs this winter, like removing silt from drainages.

"We can actually put more work force doing that type of work, rather than going out and chasing potholes around," said Huber.

This winter the city has been responding to one call a day to fix a pothole; as opposed to a few winters ago, they were taking 20 calls a day, which is a lot to keep up with.
 
“The fact that we're not taking calls on potholes means that the roads are fairly safe to drive, people are driving along and they're not seeing any issues with us," said Huber.

Huber said warmer weather equals fewer potholes, less stress for city workers and ease for drivers cruising the streets.

"Anytime you can see sunshine or warmer in January, it makes the winter go a little bit quicker for you and you have a better attitude during the winter months," said Huber.

Despite the lack of potholes this winter, the city has someone available seven days a week 24 hours a day, even over holidays, to fix potholes if you come across one.

The pothole hotline can be reached at 605-367-8002.
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