By Mark Ambrogi
With the temperatures rising and falling during winter, it is prime pothole season.
A pothole begins to form when cracks develop in the pavement from aging, traffic wear and winter freeze-thaw cycles. They continue to develop when water seeps into these cracks and freezes, expanding the layers of pavement, stone and soil. According to an INDOT press release, when the ice melts and contracts, heavy highway traffic further loosens the pavement, forming potholes.
Dave Huffman, director of the Carmel Street Dept., said the department has 48 full-time members. During the winter months, one of its tasks is to address potholes.
“We drive every street, every year, to evaluate their conditions,” Huffman said. “As a result of our inspections, we either patch where needed or place it on the paving list for resurfacing. We also have a patch truck out every day of the year so that we can take immediate steps to keep developing holes from getting too big.”
Huffman said the city’s paving budget is established so his staffers are able to resurface streets before they become maintenance issues.
“We have a few trouble areas — where water can sometimes stand or where there is an abundance of shade — but there are not that many, and we check them periodically for potential patching or milling,” Huffman said.
He said this spring, his workers will be crack-sealing Keystone Parkway to help keep it in good shape.
To report something, residents can call 733-2001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There also is the MyCarmel App, which is another way to send reports.
INDOT officials said its crews are focused on maintaining and protecting the state’s roads and bridges. INDOT’s sealing and repaving projects are designed to keep 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, according to the release.
Motorists who want to report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate or U.S. highway, follow the “Report a Concern” link at potholes.indot.in.gov.