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Patching potholes
Be patient and drive carefully

A couple of weeks ago, Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis talked to the city council about potholes. It seems there are plenty of them this spring.

“We are aware of the issue and I know it has been prominent on social media. We’re not oblivious to it,” Francis said. “I would just ask the public for patience. We’re not ignoring the situation; it just is a little bit time-consuming.”

Just how long will the work take? Public Works Director Simon Wiley had a sense of humor when the council asked him that question. “I would say five to seven years probably,” Wiley said. He was kidding, along the same lines as an old joke that goes like this:

In 5 billion years the sun will burn out. And then they’ll have to finish working on 10th Street in the dark.

The same can be said for potholes, assuming we don’t eventually get flying automobiles.

Potholes occur when snow and ice melt, freeze and thaw again. After water enters through cracks into the ground under the pavement, it expands and contracts. Yes, they can cause damage to vehicles and may actually cause an accident in extreme cases, but mostly they are just a nuisance and a threat to our tires.

The good news is, the city has people working on the pothole problem. They’re even looking at new methods that they hope will last longer.

Great Bend isn’t the only community with a crop of spring potholes blooming at the end of winter. In Michigan, a 12-year-old boy became the subject of a viral video recently when he was shown filling potholes in his neighborhood. Monte Scott from Muskegon Heights, Mich., told local news station WZZM-TV that he filled 15 potholes after his mother’s and grandma’s cars were damaged driving on roads that needed repairs. It’s hard to imagine that the trash cans full of dirt that he shoveled into the holes helped much, but the town’s mayor commended the young man’s efforts.

Closer to home, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the City of Topeka has filled more potholes this year than in all of last year. By March 19 the city had filled 14,040 potholes.

Great Bend, like Topeka, has had extra street crews working on the problem. And residents can now report a pothole, or any concern, on the City’s website,

We don’t have to like potholes but we should indeed be patient and not expect them all to disappear overnight. Enjoy the spring weather and drive carefully.