The rise and fall in temperatures following last week’s severe weather is a recipe for creating potholes. As temperatures continue to cycle up and down, more potholes will form. INDOT maintenance crews—after clearing roads from the “Arctic blast”—worked throughout last weekend filling potholes. These efforts continue. But with nearly 5,000 lane miles to maintain in southeast Indiana, it’s a big job.
Potholes are created when water seeps into cracks in roadway and freezes. As ice, it expands—making the cracks larger. When ice melts, it contracts—leaving those large cracks which, under traffic, allow pavement to break loose and become dislodged.
Recurring freeze/thaw cycles cause breakout conditions for potholes.
With hot mix asphalt plants closed at the end of the construction season, INDOT crews must make temporary patches with a cold mix of liquid asphalt and small stone. Cold mix patches require ongoing maintenance. Even so, the potholes can reopen several times through the winter. When hot mix plants reopen in the spring, INDOT maintenance personnel clean out the potholes and make permanent repairs.
Harry Maginity, Media Relations Director for INDOT, offered some tips for drivers to remember this time of year:
“Don’t follow another vehicle so close you don’t see a pothole in the road. Secondly, when you swerve make sure your not swerving into traffic in the other lane.”
Drivers are also urged to report potholes to Seymour District’s customer service desk at 877-305-7611.