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What's A Pothole?

Post Date:04/19/2019 12:00 PM


Potholes are created when the top layer of pavement and the material beneath – called the base or sub-base – cannot support the weight of the traffic. Two factors are always present in such a failure: TRAFFIC and WATER.

The development of a pothole includes:

  1. Snow-melt or rain seeps through cracks in the pavement and into the sub-base; if the moisture cannot adequately drain away from the sub-base and soil underneath, it becomes saturated and soft.
  2. Trapped moisture is subjected to repeated freeze/thaw cycles and with each occurrence, the expanding ice lifts and cracks the pavement more. The passing traffic weakens the pavement, cracking it further.
  3. As temperatures rise and the ice melts, a void is left under the pavement.  This void collects more water, and during the next freeze, the void will enlarge.
  4. Vehicles driving over the weakened pavement pound it until the surface breaks and collapses into the void below, thus creating a pothole.

If you see a pothole, please contact the Public Works Department at 801-568-2999 or send an email to  You can also quickly report it with your Sandy City CityServe app.  If you haven’t setup your account, download the app and stay connected to Sandy City.

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