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Tips and Reminders for Potholes and Other Warmer-weather Issues

Archived News Release: March 13, 2015 - ​Warmer weather means the City of Ann Arbor, residents and drivers must shift their attention from snow and ice to other potential hazards on the roads such as potholes as well as faded lane striping and crosswalk markings. In addition, problems such as street flooding and other water emergencies can become more prevalent.


Potholes, which are the result of the freeze/thaw cycle after water has seeped through, around and under the pavement can be a hazard to drivers. Please report potholes on city streets via the A2 Fix It mobile app, online at or by calling 99-HOLES. For potholes on freeways, freeway ramps and roads with an M, I, or US designation please contact the Michigan Department of Transportation at 888-296-4546 or go online:,1607,7-151-9615_30883_30885-69798--,00.html.

Because asphalt plants that produce the more permanent hot patch material are closed in the winter/cold months, the city must fill potholes using a cold patch mixture. This means that some potholes may have to be filled more than once, and loose fill may be present on the street and in bike lanes.

While driving, please take the following precautions:

  • Watch for workers and their vehicles in the road repairing potholes.

  • Keep your tires properly inflated. A tire could pop if the wheel rim pinches against the jagged edge of a pothole.

  • Don't follow the car in front of you too closely, which will leave you time to slow down to deal with potholes. 

  • Beware of puddles – they could be deep, sharp-edged potholes filled with water.

  • Reduce your speed. Slower pothole hits generally result in less damage.

  • Brake lightly. Slamming on your brakes can cause greater tire damage and also compresses your vehicle's front-end suspension system.

  • Don't swerve. Your vehicle could hit the pothole on an odd angle, causing more damage to the tire, wheel rim and alignment.

  • Have your suspension and steering components checked. Steering that is in good condition and responsive can help you avoid hitting potholes. Remember that shocks, struts and springs in good shape help cushion the blow. 

If you are unable to steer safely out of the path of a pothole, follow the advice of MDOT: slow down, then release the brakes before you hit the pothole. This helps to reduce the speed at impact, as well as gives your suspension the full range of travel to absorb the impact. If you can't avoid the pothole, straighten your wheel to hit it squarely and roll through. Hitting a pothole at an angle can transfer the energy of impact in ways more likely to damage your vehicle.

Lane striping ​​​and crosswalk markings

Over the winter, plows, as well as the salt and sand used on roads, has eroded some areas of lane stripping and crosswalk markings. City crews aren't able to fix these problems until the weather warms considerably and consistently, as paint won't adhere to the road surface with cold or cooler temperatures. In addition, repainting too early will be ineffective if Ann Arbor is subject to a late-season snow or ice storm, which must be addressed by heavy equipment, salt and sand. Continue to submit problem areas through the A2 Fix It app or online at, and the city will add them to the list of projects to be done this summer.

Street flooding or water e​mergencies

As snow and ice melt, localized street flooding may occur because of saturated ground or clogged storm drains. Here the city requests the assistance of Ann Arbor residents. If you see a storm drain clogged by ice, snow or debris, please take a moment to clear it if you are able. If you see an obstruction that is too large, please report it via the A2 Fix It app, online at, or call the city at 734.794.6320 Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

If you are experiencing any of the water, storm or sanitary problems listed below, do not report via A2 Fix It, instead call immediately. Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., please call 734.794.6320. After hours, evenings, weekends and holidays, please call the Water Treatment Plant at 734.994.2840.  

  • Sanitary sewer backups.

  • Possible sewage leaks (if you smell sewage, for example).

  • Water main breaks.

  • Basement flooding.

  • Unusually low or no water pressure.


Despite warmer weather, residents, property owners and businesses should remain vigilant about icy sidewalks. As snow and ice melt during the day, the cold evening temperatures can create sheets of ice on sidewalks if not attended to. When possible, remove standing water from sidewalks and keep sand or other material on hand that can be placed on top of icy spots for traction.

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Media Contact Information

Robert Kellar
Communications Specialist
734.794.6000 ext. 41524
[email protected]

Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.