(Email I sent today to Bill Stowe, Des Moines Public Works Director)
I live at XXXXXXXXXXXXX. This is a relatively flat street with a gentle slope to the north and drains on both sides of the streets. We have had a problem the last three years with water coming up out of the ground and causing freezing on the street. The problem that arises is this water runs underneath the ice and melts certain areas causing huge ice "pot holes." Last year a school bus got stuck in one of these ruts, that's how deep they become. Driving on the street is an obstacle course trying to avoid these huge ice potholes. Because of this, the City has come out several times during the winter with the big boy blade and spent time clearing the street.
This year that hasn't happened. I'm sure this is because of all the snow we've had and the manpower hours it has taken to clear the main streets. One day in December I was out driving and saw trucks with plows on relatively clean streets plowing. I called asking to get someone out to our street. They sent out a sand truck. This does not help our problems. During a recent warm spell a couple weeks ago most of the neighbors on the street were out using our own ice chippers and power to break up the ice mounds left in the street. But it has built up once again. I called last Wednesday or Thursday asking if a blade could come out that day as once again I had seen a truck with a blade driving over streets that were already what I'd call clean. I was informed she doubted they could do that but would send out a sand truck. I tried to explain the situation to her to no avail. When I came home I saw that a sand truck had been down the street.
Although you can't really see what I'm talking about, I've attached some pictures to try to demonstrate what I'm talking about. All of these pictures are in front of my house. It is hard to tell from this photo, but my foot is inside the rut and it is at least 6 inches deep. The following shows how the water runs underneath the ice causing what I call ice potholes.
Is there anything that can be done about the problems on our street?