INDOT is urging drivers to be alert for potholes on interstates, U.S.
highways, and state routes in Northwest Indiana.
“The rise and fall in temperatures following last week’s severe winter
weather was a recipe for potholes to form quickly,” the Indiana Department
of Transportation said in a statement released today. “As temperatures
continue to rise and fall through the winter season, more potholes are
likely to form. When (INDOT) is not clearing snow, ice or storm debris,
crews are focused on maintaining and preserving the state’s roads and
bridges, which mainly consists of pothole patching in the winter months.”
“INDOT crews worked all weekend long to fill potholes in the Northwest
Indiana District,” INDOT added. “All this despite an exhausting previous
week on the roads clearing snow and ice from our recent winter storm which
saw them on the roads 24 hours a day, for five days. Crews are filling
potholes as quickly as possible, but with 5,000 lane miles to maintain in
the Northwest Indiana District alone, it’s a big job.”
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.
“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 said. “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
To report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate or U.S. highway,
call (855) GO-INDOT.