Photo: Allen Covey, VDOT
Governor Mike Pence says the state is implementing a strategic blitz to repair the potholes created by severe winter weather.
Potholes are created anytime there is a small crack or opening in the asphalt. Water travels down into the asphalt, freezes, and eventually unthaws creating a large hole in the road.
Pence says this year’s winter weather has created a record number of potholes, so the Indiana Department of Transportation is beginning to implement a surge in pothole repairs.
Crews will work 24 hours a day in 12 hour shifts to patch state roads.
Pence says the state is also working closely with local communities and asphalt manufacturers.
“Our asphalt plants close during the winter months because temperatures are too low for paving,” he says. “I’ve instructed INDOT to work with our asphalt plants to get additional materials.”
INDOT Deputy Commissioner Ryan Gallagher says the department is waiting for a break in the weather, at least a couple of days without precipitation, for the repairs to be fully implemented.
Gallagher says the surge will be targeted based in part on where Hoosier citizens report potholes.
“If we need to rent equipment in order to work and get those areas that are identified for us, we’ll move those resources in order to get to those targeted areas,” he says.
Gallagher says the surge will last as long as it needs to until the potholes are dealt with.
Pence says INDOT will use existing funds for the repairs.
Local cities and towns are also having to work overtime to fix their roads.
“On days when we are not plowing snow we typically have two, sometimes three crews out patching potholes,” Bloomington Director of Public Works Susie Johnson says. “We do budget for a certain amount of them each year.”
A few years ago the City of Bloomington purchased a “hotbox,” which uses recycled asphalt to cover potholes. The recycled asphalt is put into the box and heated with a kerosene heater, which then patches the pothole with a hot mix.
Residents are encouraged to report potholes in order to help the city specifically target spots where roads can use improvement.
Daion Morton contributed to this report.