Watch for potholes as temperatures rise

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.

To report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate or US highway in northeast Indiana, contact the INDOT Fort Wayne District by calling 866-227-3555 or e-mailing neinformation@indot.in.gov. Motorists can also use the online  “Report a Concern” tool at dotmaps.indot.in.gov /apps/districtmaps.

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 sealed 1,685 lane miles of state highways during the fiscal year ending June 2012, and plans to seal 1,820 lane miles during the current fiscal year. For every dollar invested, research estimates that pavement preservation saves taxpayers $6 to $14 in future maintenance and construction costs.

INDOT urges motorists to slow down and stay alert when encountering pavement maintenance crews. For social media updates, follow @INDOTNortheast twitter.com/INDOTNortheast>on Twitter and like the Indiana Department of Transportation Northeast at www.facebook.com/ INDOTNortheastFacebook page. Visit www.socialmedia. indot.IN.gov to find your regional INDOT district on Facebook and Twitter.

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