Indy kicking off 4-day ‘pothole blitz’ across city

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A four-day “pothole blitz” began Tuesday in Indianapolis.

Mayor Joe Hogsett joined workers with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works to kick off the event at the intersection of 38th Street and Forest Manor Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

In a first, DPW has called on local asphalt manufacturers to start production prior to spring, which will allow crews to use “hot mix” asphalt to patch potholes this week. The production of "hot mix" will allow crews to lay 300 tons of hot mix on problem potholes each day.

"Hot mix is an asphalt mix that lasts longer and adheres better than the asphalt mixes typically used during the colder winter months," Hogsett said.

Dan Parker, Director of Public Works said in just a few hours on Tuesday, 20 DPW crews and three contracted crews were able to tackle 6,000 potholes around the city. He said they will continue the work while the weather is dry.

"That’s 120 personnel that are out there. This required seven day notice with the contractor to get started," Parker said.

Potholes have been a growing source of frustration for Indy-area drivers, who’ve noticed a number of them around the area.

Mayor Hogsett picked up a shovel and helped crews on 38th Street. That's one of the city's main problem areas for potholes. The other focus areas include Keystone, College, Michigan, Raymond, and 10th Street.

The hot mix may only be a temporary fix for some potholes.

Purdue University Civil Engineering Professor John Haddock said repaving roads is sometimes the only long-term solution.

"Traffic doesn't do potholes any favors. If you keep driving over them, you keep hitting them. Not only is that not good for your car, it's going to damage the pavement as well," Haddock explained.

Haddock also said the changing temperatures including many freezing-to-thawing weather events is likely the reason potholes seem higher in volumes and worse that usual.

Mayor Hogsett said even with an additional $90 million designated to road construction, repaving every street simply isn't in the budget.

"If we truly had the money to bring our roads, bridges, walkways, sidewalks, curbing, back up to adequate standards throughout the entire 400 square miles of the county, you're talking over a billion dollars," Hogsett said.

You can report a pothole by going here or by calling the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622.