Spring thaw occurs in early spring when the temperatures are beginning to rise, and the snow begins to melt. The ice and snow that thaws down from the surface of the pavement get trapped between the pavement and the still frozen soil. The saturated aggregate base and subgrade materials are significantly weakened, and heavier vehicles such as freight vehicles, utility vehicles, school buses, and recycling or garbage vehicles, can cause significantly more damage than usual. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) estimates that vehicle loads cause five times more damage during the spring thaw than during the summer months.
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