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Pothole FAQs


How do potholes develop?
Potholes develop when moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands and then thaws.

This cycle weakens the pavement.  The added weight of vehicular traffic accelerates the problem because it further crumbles the pavement and continues “pop out”.

Why do so many potholes surface in the spring?
When spring temperatures warm the pavement, it causes the ice to melt evaporating any water in existing cracks or under the pavement creating air pockets where the ice once was that eventually causes the pavement to break up as vehicles drive over it.  Winters of heavy snow or rain coupled with severe freeze-thaw cycles can mean a big pothole season.

How to properly repair a pothole?
The pothole is over excavated and cut to create a straight edge, when the excess asphalt is removed, an adhesive (tack coat) is applied and the new asphalt placed in layers not to exceed 2 inches and compacted with a steel drum roller.

Why do the temporary repairs only last a short time?
There are several reasons why a newly filled pothole may reopen

  1. When conditions are cold and/or wet, the material used to patch potholes does not stick to the surrounding pavement as well as when conditions are dry and warm.

  2. Because hot asphalt plants are not in operation during the winter months, “hot mix” is not available and there for we use a “cold mix” patch that is not always as durable.

  3. If the original cause of the pothole in not corrected, such as water migrating under the pavement, patches usually will fail or more potholes form. The long term solution is to repair and repave the road when warmer weather prevails.

What is the Town of Taos Responsible For?
The Town of Taos Public Works Department is responsible for patching potholes on the 44 miles of paved roadways that are owned by the Town of Taos and 13 parking lots within the town proper.

The Town is committed to addressing potholes as soon as possible after receiving a report. In addition, any pothole that is reported which is outside of the Town’s responsibility will be reported to the proper authority.

Who can I call to report a pothole?
If you encounter a pothole on a Town maintained road you may report it at for any other road maintenance issues you may call 575-751-2047.

Public Works investigates each report and will schedule repairs as soon as practical.

Please click here to report a pothole.

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