State, city highway crews prepare for pothole season

More potholes appear during spring

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana highway officials say they'll have extra road crews working in the coming weeks to patch and repair potholes.

The Indiana Department of Transportation said there's typically an increase in the number of potholes on state highways in the spring, when temperature and moisture conditions make conditions ripe for potholes.

Potholes begin when water seeps into the cracks in a road and freezes.

The ice makes the layers of pavement beneath the surface expand, and when the ice melts, it leaves behind space that collapses under the weight of traffic.

"You're going to have a hole in the ground and you're going to have tires going through it and blowing out tires and bending rims and possibly causing accidents, so we've got to keep chasing it all the time," said INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity. 

 

INDOT's hot mixture -- meant to be a permanent fix for potholes -- is unavailable for about another month. 
 
In the meantime, the state uses a machine that pushes compressed air to clear a cavity of debris then lays down a layer of hot tar with fine gravel poured on top. 

Highway crews plan to seal 1,820 lane miles during the current fiscal year.

INDOT urges drivers to slow down and be alert for paving crews in the coming weeks.

Indianapolis city crews have also been working to address the problem.

 

"This month we've received about 600 and we've filled about 550 pothole requests," said Stephanie Sample, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works.

Still, some residents are not satisfied the with efforts of road crews.

"This is a pathetic attempt," said Jim Poole, who lives on the north side of Indianapolis.

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