Is there a better plan than just patching up those potholes?

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Potholes continue to plague our streets and highways. Friday morning, we received several reports of cars pulled over along I-465 and I-70 because of damage caused by potholes.

Heidi Hackett was among those drivers. She hit a crater on 465 eastbound near Allisonville Rd. and got a flat tire.

“Super scary,” she said while waiting at the Lexus Dealership for her tire to be replaced. “I did not see it coming.”

Apparently, neither did the other eight drivers Hackett said she saw pull over right around her.

Around the same time this morning, a pothole on I-70 at the north split was causing problems. And according to Indy Pothole Viewer, as of Friday afternoon, there were still thousands of pothole complaints open across the city.

“We need a regional solution,” said Mark Fisher, the Chief Policy Officer at the Indy Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has been a long time advocate of a commuter tax; taxing people who live in the suburbs, but work in the city. But the tax has never gotten far at the statehouse. That’s why Fisher said, the solution must also involve changing the mindset to a more regional outlook.

“This isn’t just an Indianapolis or a central Indiana only issue. It’s a recognition that as a state, our metropolitan areas are growing, but our tax system is not shifted to recognize that it’s not just about where you live versus where you work, but the interrelation between all of our communities and how we grow as a region.”

As for those highways, we asked to speak with the governor, but his office directed us to INDOT. Unfortunately, INDOT’s commissioner wasn’t available for comment on Friday. An INDOT spokesman told us INDOT is in the Environment Review process for a project that would reconstruct the north split, replacing the degraded pavement where that pothole was wreaking havoc this morning.

Plus, INDOT plans to resurface more than 10,000 lane miles of pavement through 2022.

Spokesman Scott Manning wrote in part:

This is not “just patching things up.” This investment represents a fully funded plan for all existing state roads, something almost no other state can claim. In the coming years, Hoosiers can expect to see conditions of roads and bridges on the INDOT system continue to improve.

Folks like Hackett, who got stuck with a donut today, sure hope so.

“You are expecting our roads to be safe,” she said. “It is scary when it just out of the blue happens to you.”

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