Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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April 7, 2010

They’re baaaack ...

County works to get potholes filled

Potholes are the worst.

They are the blight of winter on city and county roads and affect just about every motorist in Indiana. Not only are they an eyesore, but they can cause serious damage to your vehicle if you hit one at a bad angle or at a high rate of speed.

Potholes form from a combination of weather and road construction limitations. When asphalt cracks under the pressure of vehicles and the heat of day, it’s possible for rainwater to get into the lower levels of road under the asphalt. In cold temperatures, the water freezes and expands and some of the dirt and gravel is pushed out, leaving a hole in the road when the ice melts.

Eventually, the asphalt over the hole collapses, leaving a pothole in the roads of your daily commute.

Hendricks County Highway Department Superintendent Curt Higginbotham said the process to fix potholes is fairly quick.

“We go out and evaluate it and see what it looks like, then we have a couple of different ways to fix it,” he said. “We usually use a cold patch mix and we also have another machine called a DuraPatcher, which is a more permanent repair. Those are the two main ways we resolve it. Usually we get those done within a couple of days.”

Higginbotham said the highway department covers 830 miles of roadway in the county and intends to pave about 35 miles this year. He said there are some rural roads in pretty bad shape this year.

“It’s a really bad year, actually,” he said. “Some of them have completely fallen apart. We can’t really fix those by patching them, they just need to be rebuilt. It had a lot to do with the freeze and the thaw, that is the main culprit for potholes and road deterioration — freezing and thawing.”

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