Cracks have developed along the newest section of I-69, just months after the first three sections of of the interstate from Evansville to the Crane Naval Center opened.
Though officials say they pose no risks to motorists, there are several sizeable cracks in the newly paved asphalt just south of the Patoka River Bridge on the Pike/Gibson County Line.
INDOT Spokesperson Cher Elliot says this type of cracking is a result of settling which is normal for any road that runs through this part of the state.
“In the past there has been extensive underground mining here in Pike and Gibson County, so that is why during the planned development we had chosen that asphalt be used to construct the roadway here in that area,” she says.
Elliot says asphalt is more conducive than concrete for building in areas that are susceptible to ground settling.
But critics of the road say asphalt was used because it’s cheaper than concrete. In a 2011 interview with WTIU then Governor Mitch Daniels said he told engineers to build a functional road with the idea they could always add to it later.
“I don’t see the need to build a Cadillac if a good solid Jeep or Chevy will suffice for 20-30 years,” he says.
Asphalt companies close during the winter so INDOT will not be able to make the repairs until the plants go back online in the spring.
The 67-mile stretch of interstate opened to motorists in November. The section connecting Crane to Bloomington is expected to be completed by 2014.