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Potholes a problem, but not for long

It's pothole season. Scorned by motorists who swerve to avoid them or experience the distinct jolt and thump when a sneaky one seemingly appears, the holey nuisances are popping up on roadways around the region after months of snowy weather.

But Clifton Park, it appears to some, is doing a good job of catching the pavement imposters and filling them in.

I would like to express my appreciation for the town employees that are out fixing potholes in Clifton Park, said David Van Pelt of Ballston Lake, who emailed The Spotlight praising the work done by Clifton Park's road workers.

Highway Superintendent Rick Kukuk said the town finds potholes two different ways. The first is when residents call the department with tips and street names. The second is by road crews and Kukuk himself driving around and taking note. All the potholes are compiled onto an offender list, separated into north and south, and two crews are dispatched daily to fill them in.

"The road crews are also on patrol and know some streets have more than others, so they look for those, and sometimes they find them before they're reported," said Kukuk.

Road crews usually consist of two or three men. Filling potholes this time of year is a little different than during the spring and summer months. Workers use a special "winter mix" or cold patch to fill in the hole, as opposed to during warmer weather when hot asphalt is pored. Workers also hand shovel the mix out of a pick up truck instead of using a roller.

"The hot asphalt is a hot mix that is heated and applied before it cools down. The winter mix has a different supplier where temperature doesn't matter, it stays sticky," said Kukuk.

Winter mix costs $95 per ton and the town goes through an average of 4 tons a day for three to six weeks, said Kukuk.

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