— The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is scheduling extra crews in the upcoming weeks to patch and repair potholes.
INDOT typically sees an increase in the number of reported potholes in the spring, when temperature and moisture conditions are prime for pothole formation on Indiana’s highways.
Potholes begin when water seeps into the cracks in a road and freezes, expanding the layers of pavement, stone, and soil beneath the surface. As the ice melts and contracts, it can leave space in the layers of pavement. When heavy highway traffic further loosens the pavement, it forms potholes.
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.
With average temperatures still too low for paving, most of Indiana’s hot mix asphalt plants remain closed. However, with spring and construction projects on the way, many hot mix asphalt plants expect to open soon. Once the plants begin production, INDOT maintenance crews clean out and then repair potholes with hot mix, providing a smoother, more permanent fix.
To report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate, or U.S. highway, call 1-855-463-6848 or use the online “Report a Concern” tool at www.indot.in.gov.
For the past several years, INDOT has been expanding its Pavement Preservation Program to improve pavement friction and seal tiny cracks before potholes form. INDOT sealed 1,685 lane miles of state highways during the fiscal year ending June 2012, and plans to seal 1,820 lane miles during the current fiscal year. For every dollar invested, research estimates that pavement preservation saves taxpayers $6 to $14 in future maintenance and construction costs. Pavement preservation also uses fewer natural resources than reconstruction and significantly reduces motorist inconvenience.