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Winter tough on city streets

Scott Seitz2 • Mar 3, 2014 at 5:07 PM

This winter has taken its toll on the condition of Norwalk's streets.

"This is probably the worst I've seen in my 15 years of public service," said Josh Snyder, Norwalk public works director.

The winter has provided the worst-case scenario for pavement.

"The freeze-thaw is really tough on the pavement," Snyder said. "And, the more freeze-thaw cycles you go through, the more potholes you are going to get.

"This year has been compounded with the extremely cold weather," he added.

"The extreme cold doesn't allow the asphalt to be flexible," Snyder said.

Snyder said the cold makes the pavement contract, which causes rips and tears.

"Then, you get water in there and it freezes and expands," he added. "Ice is really just expanded water."

Snyder said a recent attempt to cold-patch potholes during the rain was tough.

"It was really a futile endeavor," he said. "We weren't alone in this futile endeavor as many cities are experiencing this."

The water washed away the cold-patch mix.

"Cold-patch is a special mix of asphalt and it's expensive," Snyder said.

Once the weather breaks, the potholes can be repaired with hot mix.

"The hot mix is half the cost of the cold mix," Snyder said. "The hot mix is more durable and lasts longer."

Snyder said the hot-mix producing plants don't operate until spring.

Old State Road, south of Main Street is in rough shape.

"Really along the edges there are some very bad sections," Snyder said.

Norwalk wasn't hit too bad by flooding, Snyder said.

"The water plant did a good job of maintaining the water levels," he said. "The Norwalk Creek didn't come out of its banks."

Snyder said certain areas of the Huron River experienced ice jams.

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