Why so many potholes this time of year?

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Like death and taxes, everyone must deal with potholes.

With plenty of rain and multiple freezes and thaws, the potholes are out in full force.

Other than filling in the potholes, the best fix for them is to control the water on and under the roadways. That’s according to Rose Hulman Civil Engineer Dr Kyle Kershaw.

“The problem with potholes is rarely from the pavement itself, it’s what happens beneath the pavement,” explained Kershaw. “Water can get trapped underneath the pavement. When water freezes, it expands and pushes up the pavement.”

Kershaw says that crews can start patching now, but the water under the pavement would need to be moved away for a more permanent solution. The weather this winter hasn’t been very forgiving either.

“If we have a lot of freeze and thaw there’s a lot more chance for the pavement to expand and crack, and form potholes,” urged Kershaw. “It could be a bad year.”

Once the cracks start forming, it doesn’t take long before holes form.

“Once the traffic starts it will break up the pavement and once the pothole gets bigger, if you don’t put hot patch in it soon, it can get bigger quickly,” said Kershaw. “Probably a matter of weeks before it gets large enough to where you don’t want it to grow any further.”

You should contact your local city or county street department for non-state and non-federal roads.

For US and State Roads in Indiana, use this link: http://www.in.gov/indot/3221.htm

For US and State Roads in Illinois, use this link: http://apps.dot.illinois.gov/WER/?from=1 or call 1-800-452-4368