BANGOR, Maine — If you frequently drive in Maine, chances are you've hit a pothole. This winter, weather conditions have been just right for creating potholes, with a mix of rain followed by freezing temperatures.
"It seemed like with all these storms, you'd get snow and then rain," said Bangor Department of Public Works Director Eric Willett. "Right after it would switch to rain, we'd have a deep freeze for two or three days, then it would warm back up, and we'd have another wet storm. That vicious cycle that we went through all winter long just seems to have made the condition worse."
Willet's Public Works crew in Bangor has been working five days a week to try and patch all of the potholes in the city.
"You can pick any street in the city, and you're bound to find a pothole somewhere," said Willet. He added the vast amount of potholes has made it difficult to manage.
According to the Maine Department of Transportation, if a pothole is reported to have caused damage to a vehicle, it must be patched within 24 hours. Bangor also follows the 24 hour rule when a pothole is reported.
"It's gonna be a while before we can catch up on all of them. Even with five crews, we've done almost 150 tons of cold patch on our roads already, which is way over what we normally do," said Willett.
The amount of potholes has also impacted the business at local car repair shops.
"We definitely have noticed more vehicles coming in from hitting potholes, alignment issues," said Ty Taylor, an employee at Bennett Auto Center in Bangor.
Taylor said business has been steady and has seen countless cars impacted by potholes in city.
Eric Willett says that he and the Bangor DPW plan to start using asphalt in the coming weeks to patch potholes, as soon as the weather is warm enough for pavement plants to reopen.