Potholes in Duluth: What to Know

How are Duluth city leaders trying to fix them during a winter where the weather pattern has been ideal for pothole development?

DULUTH, Minn. – Potholes are scattered on roads all over the Northland, creating problems for drivers.

Duluth city leaders are trying to fix them during a winter where the weather pattern has been ideal for pothole development.

Due to its unique hilly terrain and the wide temperature variations this winter, more and more potholes are popping up around the city. The crews that fix those potholes in the spring and summer are pretty busy right now plowing the roads so they don’t have as much time to fix them in the winter months.

City officials say they are looking forward to fixing 18 miles of roads this upcoming summer because of increased funding coming in from the added sales tax passed in 2019. Only 3 miles of roads were fixed last year.

It’s been common to hear complaints about potholes.

“Because of the climate that we’re in we see this freeze thaw effect, which depending on how we have patched or filled potholes, it really just depends on if the patch jobs are popping out,” said Kate Van Daele, Public Information Officer for the City of Duluth.

It’s not just Duluthians who know about the city’s pothole problem, but also visitors from around the region.

“I actually try to avoid some parts of the city this time of year when it gets really slippery and snowy and nasty because it’s not fun to drive through,” said Amanda Barta, a Culver resident.

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials don’t believe the discussion about potholes will end anytime soon. More bad weather is still likely to hit the Northland for months to come, causing even more potholes.

“Unfortunately, it’s been nice to have the warm weather but we’re not up for the worst of it I don’t think yet,” said Michael Hedlund, Maintenance Supervisor for MnDOT.

Individuals can inform the city about potholes and where they are located on winter watch on Duluth’s government website. A crew will be sent out to locate the pothole once informed, and try to fix it.

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