Officials investigating potholes on recently-paved road in Johnson County

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – Highway officials in Johnson County are investigating a rash of potholes that have formed on a recently resurfaced stretch of roadway.

The potholes appeared about a week ago on the heavily-traveled Fairview Road, just east of the roundabout intersection with Morgantown Road.

“With the freeze and thaw from the snow that we’ve had, the potholes grew to the point that people became concerned,” said Johnson County Highway Director Luke Mastin.

That portion of Fairview Road was resurfaced in 2015. While this winter has been tough on area roads, Mastin says it’s too soon for the relatively new pavement to develop potholes unless there is another problem complicating the issue.

Mastin suspects the contractor who resurfaced the road may not have compacted the area properly, or there could be some kind of base drainage problem under the road.

“Whatever is happening, whatever the issue is, water infiltration is the primary problem,” Mastin said.

Highway crews went out last week and patched the potholes with a winter asphalt mix called “cold patch.” But the patch had already broken up by Monday afternoon, and the holes were open again. Drivers could be seen either swerving to miss the potholes or bumping through them.

Chelsey Lyle lives in one of the subdivisions near the pothole area and says she was surprised to see the holes on such a recently-paved roadway last week.

“I guess it’s just one of those things with the weather, but it would be nice if it got repaved,” Lyle said.

Mastin says he intends to find out the cause of the problem, and highway crews will continue patching the potholes until the weather allows for a long-term solution.

“In the spring or summer, we’ll be looking at milling the surface out there and replacing it with hot mix asphalt,” Mastin said.

The repaving project is expected to be added to the list of 2018 jobs. That list is already longer than normal because the county highway department is working with more tax revenue than previous years, and multiple 2017 projects were added to this year’s list due to aging equipment that failed last year.