WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI) — The winter weather isn't over yet, but roadways have already started to suffer. INDOT, along with the local street departments, have already started taking charge in trying to fix the pothole problem.
''There's times when we have repaired a pothole and it comes right back out,” said West Lafayette Street Commissioner Ben Anderson. “I mean especially when you don’t have the ideal circumstances to be able to repair them.”
Those circumstances involve the freezing and thawing that take place during a drastic weather change. Water can freeze in the cracks of roadways and expand once frozen again.
''You got that frozen layer and you warm up the top with the sun,” said Anderson. "You get a little bit of penetration of moisture into the top layers of the asphalt or the pavement and then you get a freeze at night. It just pops.’’
The temperature in the air may feel warm but the street, is still cold, Anderson says. In most cases, this makes it harder for crews to fix the potholes effectively.
''When you've had cold temperatures and our sub surface is frozen our road is frozen,” said Anderson. Then you have a quick warm up and it feels great outside, but we are still below. The top layer of the asphalt is still frozen. The ground is still frozen.”
Quickly forming potholes aren't the only obstacle that street departments have to jump over. Winter weather could also create a financial obstacle.
''You think about all the people up north that deal with the lake affect snow,” said Anderson. "The amount of snow events they'll have. They'll have seventy, eighty events a year where we may have forty or so and Southern Indiana have 10. We all get the same money to be able to work all that stuff out. So that's where you have to get into where things go and just being the best steward that you can with what we have.''
You can report potholes in Lafayette at (765)-807-1000 and West Lafayette: (765) 775-5100. You may also report potholes to Tippecanoe County by calling (765) 474-7079.
For any interstate highway, U.S. highway, or state road, please refer to the INDOT map here to report the pothole. You can also call 855-INDOT4U (463-6848). When reporting a pothole, please provide the following information:
The name of the county.
The state road number.
The mile marker or nearest cross road.
The direction of travel and which lane the pothole is located.