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Fill 'em up! City streets sprouting potholes

February 26, 2014

WOONSOCKET – They call it the freeze-thaw cycle, and it’s the reason motorists are bobbing and weaving through some of the nastiest pothole fields on city streets in years.

For public works crews, the ups and downs of the February thermometer bring a cycle of their own to deal with the bumper crop of potholes: It starts with a shovelful of “cold patch” asphalt and goes something like this: Fill, tamp, repeat.

“Fill it first, then level it off, then tamp,” says Mark Gelinas, a highway division worker armed with a special tool for flattening the sticky, tar-based fill.

The weather is opening up the gouged-out road ruts faster than rosebuds in June, making it a challenge for city crews to get ahead of them.

Full story appears on page A1 of Thursday's Call.

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