Pothole Enforcement

Potholes form when a paved surface becomes worn down by weather and traffic. First, Potholemoisture seeps into the pavement surface and freezes, which expands the pavement. When this moisture melts, it creates a cavity under the surface of the pavement. As vehicles drive over this cavity, they begin to crack and loosen the pavement, creating the pothole.

Repairing Potholes

Potholes in paved areas that are not promptly repaired may result in costly vehicle damages. Potholes may also be detrimental to the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Properly maintained pavement around commercial buildings, such as parking lots and driveways, makes a good impression on visitors and facilitates better customer experiences.

Preventative Maintenance

Utilize preventative measures such as sealcoating or crack sealing pavement to slow water infiltration and reduce the frequency of potholes. These measures will increase the longevity of the pavement and are much cheaper than the cost to patch a pothole or resurface pavement.

Pothole Maintenance

City Code Title 4-1-5K states that a deteriorated private road or parking lot is any paved surface that is likely to cause injury to any person or damage to the property as a result of damage or improper maintenance. Evidence of such deterioration may include potholes greater than 36 square inches and 2 inches in depth, cracks, trip hazards, or walking surfaces not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Parking and driveway pavement areas must be free of potholes and other deterioration and be striped according to approved plans. Private roads must also be maintained.

Pothole Violations

  1. Pothole violations will be addressed with an initial warning letter allowing 5 to 14 days (depending on the severity and hazard of the pothole) to bring the property into compliance.
  2. If the property has not been brought into compliance by the allotted time frame, the owner will receive a final notice to bring the property into compliance.
  3. If the property is not brought into compliance within 48 hours after receiving the final notice, the City will perform the necessary work and charge the owner the cost.

Short-Term Solutions

For the short-term pothole solutions listed, no City permits are required.

Cold Patch Repair

Patch the pothole yourself with cold patch asphalt by following these steps:

  1. Obtain a bag of cold patch or cold mix asphalt at a local hardware store.
  2. Follow manufacturer recommendations for placement.

Infrared Heater Patching

This type of pothole repair must be completed by a City-licensed contractor. For infrared heater patching, the asphalt is heated to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Next, debris around the area around the area to be patched is removed. The heated existing asphalt is reworked. More asphalt mix is added if needed. Finally, the area is compacted and the patch is completed.

Traditional Full Depth Patching

This type of pothole repair must be completed by a City-licensed contractor. For traditional patching, the damaged sections of asphalt pavement are cut out and removed. New hot mix asphalt is then placed and compacted.

Long-Term Solutions

If there are several potholes on the property, it may be sensible to resurface a larger area. This will fix any existing potholes or cracks in the pavement, as well as remove older or weakened pavement that may be susceptible to pothole formation in the near future.

Mill & Overlay

Mill and overlay includes the removal of the top 1.5 inches of pavement with a specialized machine and should include partial full depth repairs at excessive deterioration areas. Once milling and full-depth repairs are completed, a new wear course is placed and compacted creating a new paved surface.

Total Replacement

The total replacement method includes the complete removal and replacement of the asphalt pavement. For any repaving operations, a building permit must be obtained from the City. It is required to use a City-licensed contractor for these projects.


Permits are required for major pavement maintenance, such as repaving a lot. Permits are not required to fix individual potholes. Please email Cottage Grove's Building Division or call 651-458-2804 to obtain a permit or for more information pertaining to pavement permits.