Asphalt plant opens early to help combat city potholes

City has received record number of complaints

INDIANAPOLIS - As potholes become an increasing problem across Indianapolis, Mayor Greg Ballard announced the asphalt plant that supplies Marion County with the hot mix to fill spring potholes will open early.

Until now, only the cold mix has been an option. The hot mix is a more permanent fix to the thousands of potholes across the county.

For the second time in the past few years, hot mix asphalt maker Rieth-Riley Construction Inc. has agreed to open several weeks early at the city and state's request.

"This winter has caused more potholes than probably any winter than we can all remember. So opening the asphalt plant early has been critical to what we need to do to address these issues," Department of Public Works Director Lori Miser said.

The city has received a record number of pothole complaints this year -- about 4,500 more pothole complaints than the same period last year.

"It's a mixed bag out there as everybody knows. Some are just clean potholes, some are crevices that move along the middle of the lanes. And it's going to take a lot of work on a lot of people's parts here in the near future to get these things done," Ballard said.

Crews have already been hard at work to get ahead as the melting continues to create more road hazards each day.

"We want people to be very careful out there. We want people to understand that if you're seeing water that looks like a little puddle, you're not sure what's underneath that water," Ballard said.

DPW crews will work extended days from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., plus the city is bringing in contractors through mid-March to try to get all of the potholes filled faster.

The asphalt plant normally does not open until mid-March. City leaders are asking drivers to report potholes to the Mayor’s Action Center by phone, online or through the RequestIndy app.

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