The mild weather across the Heartland this winter saved the city of Ottumwa thousands of dollars in street repair and salting, and so far, it looks as though that trend has continued into the summer.
Although it's been hot, with several back-to-back days with temperatures well over 100 degrees, it has also been very dry. The lack of humidity has left little moisture under the pavement to make it shift and crack.
"So far, we've been lucky," said Steve Edgington, Ottumwa Public Works Superintendent. "The only issues I know of so far is the water works department are having issues with their water mains because of it being so dry, that actually moves the ground around and then of course, the mains are under the street, [so]we have a problem with the street blowing up. But the heat as far as being on the pavement has not made a difference so far."
Edgington said there are a few places around town where the asphalt has softened due to the heat, but those areas can be quickly fixed.
The engineering department has several large projects they're working on throughout the summer, but as far as the street maintenance department goes, most of the work is focused on fixing potholes and repairing the worst of the streets that get the most complaints.