VINCENNES – Temperatures are forecasted to rise above freezing for Southwest Indiana later this week, increasing the likelihood that potholes will form. When the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is not clearing snow, ice or storm debris, crews are focused on maintaining and preserving the state’s roads and bridges.
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, heavy highway traffic further loosens the pavement, forming 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.
To report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate or U.S. highway, contact the Vincennes District by calling 1-800-279-5758 or emailing email@example.com or use the “Report a Concern” tool at http://dotmaps.indot.in.gov/apps/districtmaps.
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.
INDOT reminds motorists to follow the posted work zone speed limit, use caution and consider worker safety when traveling through a work zone. For the latest news and information about INDOT, please visit www.in.gov/indot or www.trafficwise.in.gov