INDIANAPOLIS – A few days of warm, dry weather are giving crews with the Indianapolis Department of Public works a chance to fill as many potholes as possible before wintery conditions return.
“You can see where the freeze-thaw cycle, combined with tens of thousands of daily commuters has been very tough on our major thoroughfares,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “So we’re pulling out all the stops and putting everything we can into their timely repair.”
Two plants in Indiana that make hot-mix asphalt started producing it earlier this year than last year, so Indy DPW is using it to fill as many pothole requests as crews can this week.
“The same folks who just got out of the snow trucks are the same folks that are going to be doing potholes,” said AFSCME Local 725 President, Steve Quick. “So they’ve been working around the clock and they do good work and I appreciate them for the work they do.”
While pothole complaints and requests have been down for the last couple years, DPW Director Dan Parker said numbers are starting to pick back up this year. As of last Friday, DPW crews had filled roughly 22,500 potholes in 2022. Parker expects the department to surpass 315,714 potholes in 2021, and 314,592 potholes in 2020.
Drastic temperature changes this winter are partially responsible for the uptick, Parker said.
“Going from 5 up to 50 and back down has really taken a toll on the streets that we have not invested in,” he said.
As of Monday afternoon, the Indy Pothole Viewer showed about 4,000 open pothole requests throughout the city. DPW officials pointed out that a single request can include multiple potholes to be filled at a single location.
In addition to filling individual requests, city crews are also starting work on strip-patching projects around the city. Strip-patching involves digging a trench, or strip, along a roadway and refilling it with hot-mix asphalt. The technique can serve as a middle ground between filling individual holes and completely resurfacing a street from curb to curb. This is the 4th year that city crews will do strip-patching projects, along with $4 million in private contracts for Milestone Contractors and Rieth-Riley Construction.
Strip-patching work is already underway on North Meridian Street near East 55th Street. Crews were working in the area Monday and will move north.
DPW has identified 26 areas for strip-patching projects this year:
- Meridian St, from 54th to 96th St
- Emerson Ave, from County Line Rd to Stop 11 Rd
- White River Pkwy W Dr, from 10th St to Pershing Ave
- Emerson Ave, from Washington St to 16th St
- Mann Rd, from Kentucky Ave to Thompson Rd
- College Ave, from Massachusetts Ave to 10th St
- St Clair St, from Delaware St to Davidson St
- Fall Creek Pkwy N Dr, from Capital Ave to Pennsylvania St
- 46th St, from Meridian St to Keystone Ave
- Boulevard Pl, from 47th St to 52nd St
- Kessler Blvd E Dr, from Linwood Dr to Emerson Way
- 80th St, from N Keystone Ave to Westfield Blvd
- Westfield Blvd, from 75th St to 80th St
- 79th St, from Harcourt Rd to Ditch Rd
- Grandview Dr, from Fox Hill Dr to Westlane Rd
- W 86th St, from Conarroe Rd to the county line
- Fishback Rd, from Raceway Rd to Wilson Rd
- W 56th St, from Raceway Rd to Reed Rd
- N White River Pkwy W Dr, from Cold Springs Rd to W 29th St
- Prospect St, from Keystone Ave to Southeastern Ave
- Raymond St, from Hunter Rd to St. Clifford Dr
- Five Points Rd, from Edgewood Ave to Thompson Rd
- Southport Rd, from Arlington Ave to Franklin Rd
- Arlington Ave, from County Line Rd to Stop 11 Rd
- Edgewood Ave, from Keystone Ave to Gray Rd
- Mann Rd, from Southport Rd to Ralston Rd
“They’re really places where we’ve had continual reports year after year after year and they have not had a capital project,” Parker said.
In total, Indy DPW plans to spend $160 million on transportation infrastructure in 2022. That includes roadways, sidewalks and bridges.
“As they say, it’s a two-way street,” said Hogsett. “So residents need to slow down and give our road crews plenty of space to do the work that we all need them to do to complete the task.”