Public Works fills potholes year-round, but there are some important differences in operations in summer vs winter months. During the summer, the asphalt plants produce what is called Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA). This product has a bituminous binder incorporated into the media that sets up hard as the HMA cools down. Patches made with HMA tend to last longer because of this bituminous binder. HMA is also much more suitable for shallower potholes. When the asphalt plants are not producing HMA, they keep a material on hand called ‘cold patch’. Cold patch can be produced in most weather. The Public Works Department utilizes cold mix asphalt from roughly November to April. Because there is no bituminous binder agent incorporated into the cold patch media, it is less durable and less suitable for some potholes. Think of cold mix asphalt as sticky gravel and HMA as a more permanent pavement. Most potholes that are filled with cold patch over the winter have to be repaired with hot patch during the summer.
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