City of Madison’s Pothole Patrol responds to thousands of pothole complaints as spring approaches

MADISON, Wis. — The closer we get to spring, the busier the City of Madison’s pothole patrol crews get.

The snow, salt, sand and brine can be tough on Wisconsin’s roads after each winter season. Potholes form after the roads expand and contract from ground water freezing and unthawing underneath the pavement.

Billy Roisum has been helping the City fill potholes for the last two and a half years. He said at the end of every winter, the City gets an average of a couple thousand reported potholes to fix.

“Right now we are just filling in potholes to make sure vehicles and bicyclists can travel safely,” Roisum said. “It depends on the winter. This winter wasn’t too bad.”

News 3 Now’s Jamie Perez tagged along as Roisum filled potholes in Madison. On one residential street, Roisum filled close to 20 potholes in a small area. He was able to fill them in under 15 minutes before moving on to the next spot.

“We’re usually on call,” Roisum said. “If we are not on call we are just driving around looking for them.”

Roisum said he is able to fill about 100 potholes in a day. He said the most problematic areas for potholes are shaded residential streets because they get colder faster and ice over more often in the winter.

Roisum said the City uses what’s called a “cold mix” to fill the potholes as a temporary fix. If the street worsens, they will return to put a “mat” blacktop material over the area as a more permanent fix. In 2019, the City spent $1,360,921 on pothole repairs.

“That’s why I work for the city,” Roisum said, “to make the roads safer.”

All the pothole patrol crews ask is for drivers to pay attention to their flashing lights and give them plenty of space to fix the roads for everyone’s safety.

To report a pothole on your street, you can do so here.