Pothole repairs and prevention

We explain how the City repairs and prevents potholes.

How the City handles potholes

Causes of potholes

The most common cause of potholes in Minnesota is the winter freeze and thaw cycle. The paving material can move when water enters cracks in the road, freezes, and then expands. This movement causes potholes to form.

During a mild winter where temperatures swing above and below freezing, we will see more potholes in the spring.

If you see a pothole, report it. We rely on your help to keep our streets safe for driving, rolling, and walking.

How to report a pothole

What the City does about potholes

Public Works crews fill and patch potholes year-round.

During the winter months, we fill the worst potholes with a temporary type of asphalt called “cold mix”. The winter cold mix uses a softer, stickier asphalt that can be compacted into a hole even in below-freezing temperatures. As temperatures warm, the temporary cold mix becomes soft and will need to be replaced.

Spring is the time of year when most potholes appear and we have crews dedicated to this work. When the asphalt plants open in spring, we patch potholes with “hot mix” asphalt. This is the same asphalt used to build new roads. Hot mix patches last anywhere from a year to several years.

Patching potholes in the rain and snow

To properly patch potholes, the pothole should be dry. Potholes that are patched when wet may pop back out due to the fact that the material has not stuck to the hole.

How we avoid new potholes

The best way to fix potholes is for us to use maintenance methods that stop new ones from forming. Public Works uses modern, practical, and efficient ways to manage our roads.

Some prevention methods we use:

  • Crack sealing
  • Seal coating
  • Pavement overlays
  • Reconstruction

Keeping water from getting into the pavement is also a good way to prevent potholes.

A crew works to seal cracks in the road.
Crack sealing
Workers seal coating a road.
Seal coating
A crew fills a pothole in a road.
Filling potholes

How to report a pothole

Watch this short video to learn about reporting a pothole to 311.

You can call, email, use the 311 cell phone app or City website to report potholes on City streets to Public Works. You can also report a sinkhole the same way you would report a pothole.

Report a pothole online

Contact 311 to report a pothole

If a pothole has damaged your property, you can file a claim with the City.

Learn about filing a claim with the City

Contact us

Minneapolis 311


7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday

See list of City holidays

Office of Public Service


250 South 4th Street
5th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55414


8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday