FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The snow has melted away across parts of the Midwest and it’s a balmy 63 degrees.
Oh wait, never mind that was fake spring, we are back to the 30s.
Hold on, the 50s are back, but it’s just for a day.
Let’s go on a drive!
Oh no, where did that come from? That wasn’t there yesterday…
Ah yes, it’s pothole (or crater) season and it is in full swing across the Midwest.
These lovely holes seemingly pop up overnight and they can also inspire colorful language behind the wheel.
The pesky potholes pose risks for drivers and their vehicles.
When the temps go from freezing to warm and back, potholes are definitely possible! Our crews are constantly monitoring for them to help prevent further damage to our roads. Learn more below about how they form! pic.twitter.com/VsSLmdatAb
— INDOT Northeast (@INDOTNortheast) February 23, 2021
While some of us might get excited for snow to melt, that melted snow and ice seeps into the pavement and weakens it.
The moisture will find any nook and cranny to hang out in.
As temperatures rise and fall, the freezing and thawing causes the moisture to expand and contract, which breaks the pavement up.
If you add the weight of a car running over the compromised pavement, it will result in a pothole.
#INDOTWinterOps: Let's talk potholes! See the graphic below. Potholes are common after winter events because as snow thaws, seeps into cracks and refreezes it expands creating a void. When traffic runs over that void, you get a pothole. report potholes at https://t.co/j0EHJClhye. pic.twitter.com/qShkMQWWly
— INDOT Southwest (@INDOTSouthwest) February 22, 2021
No matter how big or small the pothole is, it can cause damage to a vehicle.
A driver can lose control by popping a tire or even lose a tire depending how large the pothole is.
You want to try to avoid them if possible.
INDOT constantly checks for potholes and will fill them at any time of year they pop up to help protect our infrastructure.
“Our crews constantly monitor for potholes on the more than 5,000 lane miles we’re responsible for,” said Hunter Petroviak, Public Relations Director for INDOT’s Northeast District.
Since the snowfall has melted, one to three potholes are reported to INDOT each day.
So what does INDOT do if a pothole has been reported?
Once a pothole has been reported, it is taken care of in 1-2 days.
During the winter months INDOT uses a cold patch method because asphalt plants are closed.
Once the agency knows of a pothole that gets filled with the cold patch, they continue to monitor that pothole to ensure the cold patch is holding up.
There are cases where the same pothole has to be refilled as the cold patch is just a temporary fix to help prevent further damage.
Once asphalt plants open for the season INDOT will go back to the potholes that have been filled with the cold patch and put in a permanent hot asphalt mix.
INDOT also fills cracks in the road to help prevent water from leaking into the road.
If you see a pothole or crater for that matter, be sure to report it to INDOT by visiting indot4u.com or by calling 855-463-6848.
Be sure you are calling the right agency because INDOT is only responsible for state and federal roadways.