INDOT tackles potholes across Indiana after dealing with extreme temperatures
The extreme fluctuation of temperatures dipping above and below freezing the past few weeks has created prime conditions for potholes on Indiana interstates, U.S. routes and state highways.
To deal with potholes in the most aggressive and efficient manner, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will be allowing crews through the state to close travel lanes where necessary during daytime hours, including during peak travel times for priority repairs.
Where possible, crews will limit their daytime work hours and try to avoid working in travel lanes during peak times. However, motorists might encounter maintenance crews making priority repairs any time, day or night.
How a pothole forms is through cracks developing 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 INDOT crews are 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.
In 2017, INDOT crews crack sealed more than 1,400 lane miles and chip sealed more than 500 lane miles of pavement to prevent the forming of potholes.
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 (Crawfordsville for Putnam County) or follow the “Report a Concern” link at potholes.indot.in.gov or on the INDOT mobile app.
For potholes on city streets or county roads, 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.