By Abi Hogan

It’s a beautiful spring day in Big Sky; the animals are waking up and coming
out. You take a deep breath of fresh air as you get in the car to take your kids
to soccer practice. As you’re driving you see a hole, and it’s is too late and you
hit the thing that keeps coming back and terrorizing mankind: the pothole.
Potholes are caused when water seeps into cracks in the road. On cold nights
that water freezes and expands causing the cement to weaken. When cars and
trucks drive over the spot where the water got in, the asphalt eventually col-
lapses and makes a hole in the road.
Road maintenance crews have two different ways to repair potholes. These
repairs are similar to a dentist using either a temporary or permanent filling
for cavities. During the winter, potholes get what is called a cold winter mix.
This is a temporary filling made of soft asphalt poured into potholes after
they are cleared of debris. A layer of gravel may be added for strength and
firmness, but the potholes are expected to reappear by spring.
A more permanent filling for potholes is called a hot summer mix. This is a combination of road grade asphalt and aggregate. This mix is designed to last
for years, but it can only be applied during dry, warm weather. When road
crews use a hot summer mix to repair potholes, they often create a detour for
traffic around the worksite and spend more time preparing the road surface
for the patch. The finished layer of new asphalt is usually packed down to
match the level of the road, making it nearly invisible.
How can individuals repair a pothole? Pick up a kit at True Value hardware
store or go online and Google how to fix a pothole. You can find step by step
instructions on how to fix the pothole. Also, if you see a pothole in the road,
you can call a road maintenance worker and tell them where the pothole is so
they can fix it.

As part of a language arts assignment, 5th grade teacher
Dave Neal asked his students to write newsworthy articles
for the Big Sky Weekly. Once a month, 5th graders
will contribute to the Weekly with pertinent information
to our Big Sky community.