Residents can help locate pesky potholes by reporting them to the Pothole Hotline via e-mail at ReportAPothole@LouisvilleCO.gov or by calling the Operations Division at 303.335.4750. Please be sure to leave a message with the location of the pothole and the time and date of your call. In case of emergency pothole repairs, please call 303.489.2301. City staff will respond to pothole issues within 24 hours of being contacted.Every year, the Operations Division repairs over 1,500 potholes across all 185 lane miles of Louisville streets! While often times they are merely a nuisance, potholes can become a major problem if left unrepaired. They are caused when asphalt or the sub base material beneath the asphalt fails to support the weight of traffic. Two factors are always present in such a failure: water and weight.
Water typically seeps into the sub base underneath the asphalt either through cracks in the surface or from standing water along the side of the street. When water does not drain properly, it can soften the sub base, like how solid dirt can soften into mud. The sub base material can shift or ooze to the side, leaving nothing to support the asphalt above it. Traffic weight then causes the asphalt to weaken and crack, ultimately caving in and forming a pothole.
Ice and cold temperatures also accelerate the process with the freeze-thaw cycles. This explains all the potholes that seem to form around the City after winter. The water in the sub base freezes and expands, pushing the asphalt up. If expansion forces are severe enough, a piece of asphalt may actually pop out! As warming occurs, the sub base will contract and soften, leaving a void. The asphalt above this sub base void quickly begins to deteriorate and crack as traffic above it weighs it down.