City of Madison Logo
Pothole Patrol Header

POTHOLE FAQs

1.) Why are certain streets continually in disrepair, e.g. University Avenue, Northport/Packers/ HWY 113?

All of the streets listed are concrete streets. The expansion joints of these concrete streets have deteriorated and moisture from melting snow or rain is getting into these joints causing the potholes to develop when the street thaws and then refreezes and the weight of the vehicles pushes the existing concrete or blacktop patch material out of the joint.

2.) Why is a patch that is done in the winter not considered a permanent patch?

First, For a patch to be permanent, it must be completed when the ground is thawed and refreezing of water doesn't occur.

Secondly, the asphalt repair material is different in the winter than in the summer. In the winter, it is cold and made to be pliable so it can be used during cold temperatures. In the summer, the material is hot and made to be permanent because it can be compacted to become rigid.

3.) Once I report a pothole, how long does it take to get the pothole patched?

In best case scenarios, the pothole would be patched by the following day. In worse case scenarios, it could take two to three days based on the weather.

4.) Can driving over the patches harm my car?

No, it is just a mixture of asphalt and gravel. It will do no more harm to your car than driving on a gravel street. As a matter of fact, driving over a pothole that has just been filled with asphalt will help compact the material into the hole.

5.) What is the tape on the road?

Tape is part of preventative maintenance of roads. Tape is applied to hot crack sealant after it is applied so that the repaired crack can be driven on immediately. This tape prevents the hot tar from splashing onto your car.

6.) How do I report a pothole?

You can report potholes via the Report a Problem website or by calling Streets - East at 246-4532 or Streets - West at 266-4681.

7.) What are the City's plans for fixing/replacing streets in Madison?

In 2010, the Adopted Capital Budget has $59, 000, 000 in Engineering's budget street projects including street construction, reconstruction, and resurfacing. In addition, the 2010 Operating Budget has designated $1.96 million for the Street Repair & Maintenance Program. This program performs routine street maintenance, which includes filling of potholes and depressions, removal and replacement of damaged pavement, grinding and resurfacing with crushed stone and sealant.

You can check on the scheduled long-term plans for street resurfacing and street reconstruction by going to: