Information About Potholes

What causes potholes?

Water can seep under the pavement through cracks or from the side of the road. Over time, the water can cause the material under the pavement to erode, causing the pavement to sink down and break. During the winter, the water under the pavement freezes then thaws (contracting and expanding). This freeze/thaw cycle can cause the pavement to crack. Once cracked, the pavement deteriorates quickly under the weight of traffic and streets can seem to break out in potholes overnight.

Why are there so many potholes?

The City experiences extensive freeze/thaw cycles. You can expect to see more potholes in the winter and spring, following periods of cold temperatures and rain or snow. 

The City filled a pothole, but a few days later, it reappeared. Why don't repairs last longer?

Making permanent repairs during the winter is difficult and expensive. In the winter months, the Public Works Department fills potholes with both cold and hot patch. Temporary repairs are intended to maintain safety and minimize damage to vehicles. Permanent repairs require waiting until the spring thaw. In Spring, the Department of Public Works makes permanent repairs using hot asphalt. 

How do I report a pothole?

Call the Department of Public Works, Highway Division at 508-532-6030. 

What if the pothole is on a state-maintained road?

To report a pothole on state-owned roads, motorists can call 511 using mobile devices or dial 617-973-7800, the Commonwealth's Highway Division switchboard.

How long does it take to fill a pothole?

On average it takes approximately 24 hours of notification to fill the typical pothole. Some potholes, because of their location in the road or proximity to other infrastructure such as manhole covers, are more difficult to fill and, consequently, take longer. The Public Works Department crews work to cover 550 lane miles of public roadway in the City of Framingham. Many times, when a crew goes to repair 1 pothole, they find several others in the same area. A single crew typically repairs 90 potholes a day.