The Missoula City Council has signed off on purchasing a new vehicle to fill potholes for the street division.
The new vehicle costs just over $134,000. It's likely to get plenty of use, if the use of both current pothole patching trucks is any indication.
However, the city isn't upgrading to three vehicles. The current vehicle that's primarily used for pothole patching will be sold in favor of the new truck. It's part of a standard vehicle replacement schedule for high-use vehicles like pothole patchers.
City officials note that potholes this year are not more prevalent compared to the last few years, despite a wet end to winter.
One trouble spot is highly used 5th and 6th Streets.
Many of the issues on those streets can't be fixed with simply dumping hot road mixture into a hole. Thin, upper layers of roadway look as if they were peeled away and stretch for several car lengths.
Street Division Superintendent Brian Hensel says work to smooth the pavement on 6th St. should begin soon, but 5th St. will have to wait. A water main is scheduled to be replaced there as construction season ramps up in the valley.