DES MOINES, Iowa — As temperatures have fluctuated and precipitation has come and gone, Des Moines’ roads have taken a beating, which has led to potholes forming throughout the city.

Des Moines Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said pothole season started about a month early this season when crews started repairing them following the late-December snowstorms.

He said crews went over all 750 lane miles of major roadways in the city and fixed all potholes they found. They fixed potholes on residential streets upon request.

Gano said winter pothole fixes are usually temporary. Crews only have access to cold-mix asphalt, which is a mixture of sand and oil. It’s not typically used to repair roads.

“The repair material used for patching potholes during the winter time is not the same material that the roadways are built from,” he said. “So during the summer, we have available to us the same construction material that roadways are built from, hot-mix asphalt, but the plants that make that shut down during the winter time because it’s too cold to build roadways and too cold to pave.”

Gano said cold-mix asphalt repairs only last a few weeks typically before the pothole reopens. Crews can’t wait until the spring, when hot-mix asphalt is available, because it’s not safe to leave high-traffic roads full of potholes. Crews will likely have to go over their cold-mix repairs with hot-mix asphalt during the spring and summer months.

Des Moines residents can report potholes by calling the 24/7 Public Works Customer Service Center at 515-283-4950 or on the MyDSMmobile App where users can report precise locations on the map.