INDIANA (WLFI) - Indiana is no stranger to roller-coaster temperatures, and this week's weather is slated to stick to that pattern. But Department of Transportation officials want you to remember a jump in temperatures isn't just a walk through the park.
Temperatures are forecasted to rise above freezing for West Central Indiana later this week, increasing likelihood that potholes will form.
When the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is not clearing snow, ice or storm debris, crews are pushed to maintain and preserve the state's roads and bridges.
According to INDOT, potholes start to form 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 can further loosen the pavement, forming potholes.
With temperatures too cold for paving, most of Indiana's hot mix asphalt plants are now closed for the winter. Throughout the cold season, 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 season. When the asphalt plants re-open in the spring, INDOT maintenance crews will clean out and then repair potholes with hot mix, providing a smoother, more lasting fix.
To report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate or U.S. highway, contact the INDOT Crawfordsville District at 888-924-6368 or use the "Report a Concern" tool at INDOT's website.
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.
Pavement preservation also uses fewer natural resources than reconstruction and significantly reduces motorist inconvenience.
INDOT urges motorists to slow down and stay alert when encountering pavement maintenance crews. For social media updates, visit INDOT's Facebook and Twitter pages or visit this site to find your regional INDOT district on Facebook and Twitter.
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