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Arapahoe County road and bridge crews prepare for busy pothole repair season

How neighbors can get potholes fixed sooner
How neighbors can get potholes fixed sooner 02:33

We all know that feeling of riding in a vehicle and suddenly hitting a big pothole, which can be jarring. It's also that time of the year when potholes are popping up on roadways.

Mike Haraldson is the operations manager with Arapahoe County Road and Bridge crews. He said fixing potholes is one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive operations to work on, but crews have a plan and priority system in place to get potholes fixed in a timely manner.

"It's a very expensive thing to do, but it's a high priority for us," said Haraldson.

Haraldson said February and March and heading into spring is when he and crews get the most requests to repair potholes. 

Every year, the team receives an average of 175 pothole repair requests through an online service request form and the past few years have been some of the most busy.

"This winter so far, we've had a lot of wet snow, which doesn't help with the pothole problem," said Haraldson. "We got a record number of amount of pothole requests last year due to all the rainfall and the record flooding that we received in Arapahoe County last year. So, we are prepared for that again this year."


Haraldson said the county is 12 miles wide by 80 miles long. So, they rely on the community to report problem areas.

"We just can't cover all of that on a day-to-day basis. Once we get that service request we put on a list, and we'll get to that as soon as we possibly can and when we have the equipment and the people," said Haraldson. "So, please report them."

After a service request is submitted, pothole repairs are prioritized. Priority one potholes include anything wider than a foot and three inches deep. 

Priority two potholes include anything less than six inches wide and less than three inches deep. Priority three potholes include anything smaller.

Once a service request is submitted, the patching supervisor has 72 hours to go to the area to inspect the pothole.

The county has four large patch trucks with several operators and teams filling potholes across the county. They work on temporary fixes and permanent fixes.

"When we're doing a permanent fix, we saw cut the edges, square it up, jackhammer it out. We dig it out. We clean it up. We square it up, tack it. We put asphalt in and get compaction to it, so there are a lot of steps into doing a full repair to a pothole," said Haraldson.


An estimated $200,000 is spent every year in Arapahoe County to fix potholes. Depending on the staff, time of year or day, and the priority, some potholes are fixed the same day, or weeks later. 

It also depends on the weather because the road and bridge crews wear many hats.

"One day they're out there and they're plowing snow as a CDL operator and then the next day, they're out there with the patch truck filling potholes," said Haraldson.

Haraldson added that 90% of potholes crews go out and fill, come from the community's service requests.

To submit a service request online and report a pothole in Arapahoe County, click here

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