Deep frost causes bumpy ride on area roads

The spring thaw is causing dips in area roadways
The spring thaw is causing dips in area roadways

MARINETTE COUNTY - This winter has been especially tough on area roadways.

And it could still get worse.

Underground frost in some areas is still about five feet thick, and as it melts it is causing bumps, dips and potholes on the roadways.

On US Highway 141 near Coleman, drivers say it's rough going.

"I'm not used to it. So I mean, when it first happened, I was like, this isn't good," said Tiffany Nosgovitz, Coleman.

Traffic has been bouncing along in the area for about a week.

"It's marked and everything, but you still hit that bump, where it says bump, and you're expecting a little bump, but it's whoa! You really go down," said Harold Dohl, Coleman.

The Department of Transportation says the weather to blame.

"We're getting expansion at a far deeper level than we did in the past. So there's more pressure coming up on the roads. So the roads are heaving more than they have in other winters," said Kim Rudat, Department of Transportation spokesperson.

And it's just not an issue on the highways. Many streets in the city of Green Bay are showing signs of a long cold winter.

Potholes are popping up all over the city.

"We expected this was going to be a bad year for potholes. Just given the amount of frost we had. The extended periods of cold that drove the frost deeper," said Steve Grenier, Green Bay Public Works Director.

Grenier says rainy conditions and cold nights won't help.

"That's perfect pothole weather," said Grenier.

The DOT says it will monitor the trouble spots, but there isn't much crews can do.

"With these heaves, we could try to mill them down, to make them more smooth, but then what happens when the weather warms and the road settles back down? Then we have a dip where we had a heave," said Rudat.

Meanwhile, drivers continue to bump along, until the dips and heaves ... leave.

"I've been asking people and they say it will just manage to fix itself. I didn't know how much, I guess we'll find out," said Nosgovitz.

Public works officials say the pothole season is just getting started. It could be the end of May before it's all over.