After nearly a week of winter weather, Indiana is getting a short break from freezing temperatures with rain forecast for much of the state on Friday. Drivers should stay alert as these are prime conditions for potholes to form.
How a pothole forms
Cracks develop in pavement from aging, traffic wear and winter freeze-thaw cycles. Potholes begin when water seeps into these cracks and freezes, expanding the layers of pavement, stone and soil. As the ice melts and contracts, heavy highway traffic further loosens the pavement, forming potholes.
When the Indiana Department of Transportation is not clearing snow, ice or storm debris, its crews are focused on maintaining and protecting the state’s roads and bridges. Sealing and repaving projects prevent water from seeping into the pavement and forming potholes.
During 2015, INDOT repaved 1,720 miles of state highways, chip-sealed 1,250 miles and crack sealed an additional 5,670 miles.
Governor Mike Pence’s 21st Century Crossroads proposal will make $1 billion in new road funding available over the next four years without raising taxes. This builds upon the $3.2 billion INDOT already plans to invest over the next five years in improving pavement and bridge condition.
With temperatures too low for paving, most of Indiana’s hot-mix asphalt plants are now closed. During the winter INDOT uses cold mix, a mixture of small stone and liquid asphalt, as a temporary patch.
Even after being filled with cold patch, the same pothole requires ongoing maintenance and can reopen several times throughout the winter. When the asphalt plants reopen in the spring, INDOT maintenance crews clean out and then repair potholes with hot mix, providing a smoother, more permanent fix.
INDOT urges motorists to slow down and stay alert when encountering pothole-patching crews.
To report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate or U.S. highway, contact your regional INDOT district or follow the “Report a Concern” link at potholes.indot.in.gov. For potholes on city streets or county roads, please contact the proper city or county maintenance department.
Motorists can learn about highway work zones and other traffic alerts at indot.carsprogram.org, 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or 511 from a mobile phone.
Submitted press release courtesy of INDOT.