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Many people ask questions about potholes.  Why they occur?  How does a seemingly good road suddenly develop potholes?  So to help everyone better understand the mechanics of what is occurring, here is a little information on the formation of potholes.  (And you thought it couldn’t get any more exciting.)  A pothole is a type of disruption in the surface of a road where a portion of the asphalt material has broken away, leaving a hole.  Most potholes are formed due to fatigue of the pavement surface.  As fatigue cracks develop they typically interlock in a pattern known as "alligator cracking".  The chunks of pavement between fatigue cracks are worked loose and may eventually be picked out of the surface by continued wheel loads, thus forming a pothole. The formation of potholes is exacerbated by cold temperatures, and as water freezes and expands it puts more stress on cracked pavement. Once a pothole forms, it grows through continued removal of broken chunks of pavement. If a pothole fills with water, the growth may be accelerated, as the water 'washes away' loose particles of road surface as vehicles pass. Here in New England, potholes tend to form most often during spring months when the subgrade is weak due to high moisture content.

Potholes can grow to feet in width, though they usually only become a few inches deep.  Please drive slowly in areas where you observe potholes.

We ask that you call the Department of Public Works at 267-4747 (267-9922 after hours) if you observe conditions that require attention.  

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Town of East Hampton, CT
20 East High Street, East Hampton, CT 06424
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