Troublesome potholes to be filled


This time of year, there’s more than just flowers popping up.

With the constant roller coaster ride of temperatures and significant amount of moisture in the spring, potholes are a common and unwelcome sight on city streets, county and town roads and even state highways.

If left alone, those holes can lead to further road deterioration and costly damage to people’s vehicles.

In the month of February, the Seymour Department of Public Works street department filled 975 potholes in city limits, said Chad Dixon, department supervisor. For the first two days of March, the total was 125.

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“It’s been a bad year for them,” Dixon said. “It’s like they are blowing up from the ground up instead of starting at the top and going down.”

With the city broken down into quadrants, the street department has an organized schedule for filling potholes and sends out one or two, two- to three-men crews to address areas daily.

Dixon said the majority of potholes are on older streets and are just the natural result of the freezing and thawing process and overall usage. It’s best not to try to fill holes that have water or ice in them, because they likely will reform quickly.

The department uses a high-quality cold patch mixture to fill the holes and has gone through 31 tons of the product so far this year, Dixon added.

“As soon as we can see pavement and its fairly dry, we’re out there filling them in,” he said, which means some pothole patching even gets accomplished during the winter months.

“It really is a never-ending process,” he said.

One area that has caused a lot of problems has been O’Brien Street, he added.

“It seems like we have to go over the same ones,” he said. “People like to see progress so we do the best we can. We get to them as soon as we can and we try to stay on top of it.”

Although the street department is aware of many of the potholes, Dixon said he encourages people to continue to report them by calling the city garage at 812-524-1100.

“It helps if people call them in because if we don’t know about it, we can’t fix it,” he said.

There is some public confusion about which streets the city is responsible for though, Dixon added.

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls about Sixth Street, but that is actually State Road 258, so INDOT (Indiana Department of Transportation) does those,” he said. That’s also the case for Tipton Street which is U.S. 50. and Ewing and South Walnut streets which are State Road 11.

INDOT also has crews out regularly addressing potholes, said INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity.

“The Scottsburg Unit patched potholes on State Road 39 earlier (Friday) and crews will be on State Road 256 in Scott and Jackson County mid week,” Maginity said. “The Columbus Unit spent several days patching potholes on U.S. 31 north of U.S. 50.”

Some of the worst potholes are on Interstate 65 from Seymour to Columbus, but that section of road is part of a major widening project that will begin this spring and will add an additional lane on both the north and southbound sides.

Maginity said the project’s contractor, E&B Paving, is responsible for patching potholes on that stretch of roadway.

Jerry Ault, Jackson County Highway superintendent, said the winter has been average for the county in regards to potholes.

“We’ve had some winters that have been a lot worse than this one,” he said. Even though it could be worse, Ault said there are a number of roads throughout the county where the top layer of asphalt is breaking up. That leaves the county with a number of potholes to address and Ault has two, two-member crews working each day filling them.

While the freezing and thawing has impacted the county’s roads, responding to them is ongoing throughout the year, Ault added.

“You can drive down a road one day without a pothole, and the next day there will be one,” he said. “I never knew potholes were like that until I started working for the county.”

Recent flooding also has impacted some county roads adversely, he added.

“The river flooding last month has contributed to it,” Ault said.

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To report potholes, contact:

Seymour Department of Public Works Street Department – 812-524-1100.

Jackson County Highway Department – 812-358-2226

Indiana Department of Transportation – 855-INDOT4U (463-6848).


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