ANDERSON — With a temperature swing of almost 70 degrees in the space of a week, it should come as no surprise that potholes are popping up faster than weeds in the spring.
As the road surfaces undergo a constant freezing and thawing, which is continuing this week, the pavement begins to break up causing sometimes a “bone-jarring pothole.”
Potholes are formed after rain or snow seeps into the soil below the road surface, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. The moisture freezes when the temperature drops causing the ground to expand and push the pavement up. As the temperature rises, the ground returns to a normal level, but the road surface remains rose, causing a gap. When a vehicle drives over the cavity, the pavement surface cracks and falls into the hollow space.
Crews with Anderson and Madison County are working daily to fill the potholes, while those in Elwood and Alexandria are reporting there isn’t a problem at the current time.
“We’re filling potholes with a vengeance,” Brad Lamb, superintendent of the Anderson Street Department, said Tuesday.
“We did a lot of paving the past few years where potholes were a problem,” he said. “The problem areas are on 53rd Street and Broadway.”
Land said the Street Department is using a cold patch that is heated in a hot box before applying to the road surface.
“With the freezing and thawing taking place, we anticipate more potholes,” he said.
Scott Harless, superintendent of the Madison County Highway Department, said the county has two Dura-patchers and three hot boxes working on filling potholes on county roads.
“So far we’ve only had one complaint,” he said. “Right now the crews are running the townships looking for potholes.”
Harless said he expects more potholes as the freeze-and-thaw pattern of Indiana weather continues.
He said the number of potholes in the county is about the same as in previous years.
“Potholes haven’t really started,” Harless said. “We’re expecting more.”
Jim Robertson, superintendent of the Elwood Street Department, said the biggest problem is on Indiana 28 through the city, which is scheduled to be repaved this spring.
“Actually we did such a large amount of paving last year, we took care of a lot of problem areas,” he said. “We’re not anticipating a massive problem.”
Robertson said the street department has been finishing up the cleanup from the snowstorm and doing tree work.
Gary Hartwell, Alexandria Street Department superintendent, said crews are taking down the Christmas decorations this week.
“We have a few potholes,” he said. “We will start hitting it next week.”
Follow Ken de la Bastide @KendelaBastide on Twitter, or call 640-4863.
Pothole patrol Area residents can report a pothole to local street departments by calling the following telephone numbers: Anderson Street Department -- 648-6445 or at www.cityofanderson.com Madison County Highway Department -- 646-9240 Elwood Street Department -- 552-2711 Alexandria Street Department -- 724-3354