On April 1, potholes are no joke -- but crews across the metro are ramping up their repair work while drivers dodge the hazards and garages prepare for a brisk bit of business.
Anyone who has driven on Minnesota roads probably has a pothole story to share. Now that most of the snow and ice has melted away, more and more of them should be cropping up.
Patching crews with the Minnesota Department of Transportation were out in force where highways 62 and 212 meet in Eden Prairie, and officials say drivers should expect to see more of them on the roads in the weeks to come.
Crews in St. Paul gave White Bear Avenue a much-needed touch up on Monday, digging into a hot asphalt mix to fill some particularly nasty potholes. A quick drive down the well-traveled four-lane roadway makes it clear that there is plenty of work to be done.
"This is more like a typical pothole season," said Dave Hunt, spokesman for St. Paul Public Works. "This is our absolute busiest time."
Hunt pointed out that there are about 1,900 miles of paved streets in the Capitol city, and there are 10 to 12 patching crews out on the roads each day to keep up with the potholes popping up.
"They have assigned routes," he explained.
Following a frigid winter that met a March full of freezes and thaws, drivers are having a tough time avoiding all of the holes in the road.
"Even on my own personal vehicle, I have blown out a tire going through a pothole," admitted Andrew Mossefin, of Autopia.
That's why the Uptown repair shop is currently running a pothole special, offering 25 percent off all labor.
"The worst one ever seen, the strut blew through the top of the hood. Messy," Mossefin recalled. "Old car, but yeah -- suspension shot through the sheet metal."
The good news is that spring seems to have sprung, and that means crews are switching to a more permanent patching mix. If drier conditions linger, there's a good chance these repairs will stick .
In Minneapolis, April 1 marks the start of what they call their "summer construction maintenance season." That means they too are adding more pothole patching crews too.
Anyone who sees a bad pothole shouldn't be afraid to complain. Public works departments across the metro and MnDOT all told FOX 9 News that complaints tell them where to direct their crews.