After the snow and ice are cleared from the roadways, another obstacle appears: potholes.

On campus, potholes can be seen on Circle Road and within the residential parking zones. In some areas, they are more than a foot wide—in residential parking zone 5, they are wider.

Potholes are formed by contraction and expansion of asphalt and concrete road surfaces, Executive Director for Facilities and Services Terence Harrigan explained via email. When there are large fluctuations in temperature during the winter months, water penetrates the surface during a thaw, then freezes and expands. This causes the concrete or asphalt to expand, creating a pothole.

Snowplows can facilitate the formation of potholes by wearing down the surface of roadways, exposing more areas for water to enter and freeze in, according to Harrigan. Snow removal contractors are even occasionally charged for damages to curbs.

Potholes reported by Grounds Maintenance on the West Campus are filled by Facilities and Services throughout the winter and the rest of the year.

“There is no way that we know of to prevent potholes. We can only be active during the other seasons to consistently repair the roads,”  Harrigan said.

Roads and walkways that may have issues in the winter are noted in the fall. An attempt is then made to repair the potholes before winter starts again.

“For the most part we have stayed on top of any major holes,” he wrote.


Facilities and Services is responsible for potholes on the academic campus, while Campus Residences and East Campus are dealt with separately.

Campus Residences employee Antwan Williams said that he sees potholes as an issue, although he has had more of a problem with them on the back streets and roads surrounding the campus.

Williams recently spent $290 to repair tire damage caused by driving over a pothole on New York State Route 25A.

Kelly Zegers

Kelly is a senior double major in journalism and political science. She joined The Statesman as a freshman and hopes to combine her interest in travel and love for telling stories professionally. Contact Kelly at: [email protected]


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