More traffic and mother nature blamed for increase in potholes

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The recent cold snap has resulted in an increase in the number of potholes around Austin.

“For the past couple of months, from the weather getting hot to cold…and the wet makes the ground contract and expand,” said Fernando Ortegon Jr., a supervisor with Public Works. “And with the heavy traffic we’ve been seeing, that’s how potholes start forming.”

Crews repaired about 1,400 potholes last year.

Austin has a 24-hour time frame to repair a pothole. Once they’re reported to 3-1-1, crews will go out and make sure they are at least temporarily patched. Then, depending on the weather, permanent repairs will be made.

“It’s too cold, plus with the wet, we don’t have any asphalt,” Ortegon said. “So, the crews come out with high performance type material. It’s an asphalt and we use it in cold and wet weather.”

Crews fixed a troubling spot at Metric Boulevard and Palmer Lane 15 minutes after someone complained about it.

“it does more damage to the vehicle than they realize, especially going over multiple potholes day after day, tires blistering, tires blowing out,” said Peter Spytek, manager at Yost Automotive.

Interstate 35 also had some trouble spots between Ben White Boulevard and Riverside Drive. The Texas Department of Transportation said crews are required to fix a pothole within a hour after a report is filed with the Combined Transportation, Emergency & Communications Center (CTECC).

Depending on where the pothole is, crews might have to work at night if it is on a main lane.

A semi-permanent material is used to repair roads maintained by TxDOT. Their contractor who works on I-35 repairs about 100 potholes a month.

Thursday, on KXAN News at 6, Josh Hinkle will take an in-depth look at a plan to crack down on overweight trucks wearing down roads. Leaders say they are breaking the law, causing damage and forcing the state to spend more money on maintenance, instead of other problems like traffic.

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