Temperatures fluctuating above and below freezing the past few weeks have created prime conditions for potholes forming on Indiana roadways.
To deal with potholes in the most aggressive and efficient manner, the Indiana Department of Transportation will allow crews throughout the state to close travel lanes when and where necessary during daytime hours, including during peak travel times for priority repairs.
Where possible, crews will limit their daytime work hours and try to avoid working in travel lanes carrying traffic in the peak direction during peak times. However, motorists may encounter maintenance crews making priority repairs any time of the day or night.
Give them room
Motorists are more likely to encounter workers making road repairs. INDOT makes pothole patching a top priority between snow and ice events. Please be alert while behind the wheel, slow down, and give highway workers safe space to do their jobs. Increase your following distance so you have more time to stop or slow down in a pothole repair zone.
INDOT urges motorists to slow down and stay alert when encountering pothole-patching crews.
How a pothole forms
Cracks develop in pavement from traffic wear and winter freeze-thaw cycles. Potholes begin when water seeps into these cracks and freezes, expanding the layers of pavement, stone and soil. As the ice melts and contracts, heavy highway traffic further loosens the pavement, forming potholes. To learn more, view this video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkGF4JCT3Fg
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 can require 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.
When INDOT is not clearing snow, ice or storm debris, its crews will focus on maintaining and protecting the state’s roads and bridges. Sealing and repaving projects prevent water from seeping into the pavement and forming potholes.
During the last fiscal year, INDOT awarded contracts to repave 580 miles of state highways, chip-sealed over 1,200 miles and crack sealed more than 5,500 miles.
To report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate or U.S. highway, contact your regional INDOT district or follow the “Report a Concern” link at potholes.indot.in.gov. For potholes on city streets or county roads, please contact the proper city or county maintenance department.