DPW taking advantage of warmer weather to fill Indy potholes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A brief warmup in the weather this week is giving repair crews with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) a few days to respond to pothole complaints around the city.

Brutally cold temperatures in the last couple weeks, followed by above-freezing temperatures this week are also taking a toll on the pavement across Indianapolis.

“So what that does is it can cause a lot of potholes, just from that freeze thaw cycle,” said DPW spokesperson Warren Stokes.

According to the city’s online pothole viewer map, there were nearly 100 unfilled potholes around the metro area that had not been filled. The map also shows nearly 1,900 pothole complaints had been refilled since August last year. More than 70-percent of the filled potholes were responded to within three days of a complaint being filed, according to the online map.

On Tuesday, DPW had seven of the department’s 20 pothole crews responding to pothole complaints. The crews were filling the potholes with a cold asphalt mixture called “cold patch,” which is available during the winter when asphalt companies are closed.

“It does work, but it’s not as effective as a hot patch,” Stokes said. “So a lot of times we’ll have to come back and refill those potholes.”

Stokes said a cold patch fix may last a few weeks before the mixture starts to break up and a pothole opens up again. The mix is intended as a temporary repair to get through the winter months. During the spring, DPW will switch over to a “hot patch” mix for more stable repairs.

While repair crews are responding to pothole calls, they’re also making note of severe problem areas that may need a permanent fix.

“They say hey we’re filling a lot of potholes in this section,” Stokes said. “Maybe this is something that our engineering team can look at to resurface in the future.”

With warmer temperatures in the forecast for the next couple days, Stokes said pothole crews will be out again to respond to calls. However, he did not know how many crews would be dispatched on Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

If you need to report a pothole, you can call the city’s Mayor’s Action Center at (317) 327-4MAC. You can also file an online complaint to the action center here.