Once the winter weather ends, Concord General Services’ Highway and Utilities Division begins spring operations for the City of Concord. Fluctuating temperatures from winter to spring can cause roads to shift. Roads easily shift during the spring thaw, which occurs when any frozen ice underneath the asphalt begins to melt. The spring thaw can cause potholes, sink holes, cracks, and road damage. Crews work in the spring to prevent and repair any road damages created during the spring thaw.
The City of Concord has lifted spring road load limits as of March 28, 2016. Any frost in the roads is gone and ditches have dried up enough for Concord General Services' sign crew to have removed postings. We appreciate all the cooperation to help prevent any excess damage to Concord's roads during the spring thaw. The spring thaw refers to when the temperatures fluctuate and the roads begin to melt any ice frozen underneath the asphalt, typically in areas indicating frost heaves and recent potholes created during the cold winter weather. Heavy weight on roads during the spring thaw can cause cracks and potentially even big breaks in the street. The amount of road damage is directly linked to how often the road is used and the weight of each load, especially if the road does not have a solid foundation.
Road Damage and Potholes
Frost heaves occur in the winter when water underneath the road cannot drain through frozen soil. The water freezes and expands upward, thus heaving the road. When the pavement starts to warm up in the spring, the ground thaws and the road contracts back down and creates cracks in the pavement. Cracks weaken the road structure and eventually potholes are formed. Potholes are created from the ground shifting of the freezing and thawing cycles. Highway and Utilities crews repair potholes by cleaning out the debris in the hole and then filling the hole with Cold Patch. The material is then compacted with a tamper or roller.