Freeze, thaw pattern this winter creates plentiful potholes

Mar 6, 2018


This season’s weather has been particularly bad for potholes, and recent historic flooding has not helped road conditions.

This winter there has been a lot of freeze and thaw. This creates a lot of potholes, as anyone driving in Michiana has noticed.

Marty Morgan is the street commissioner for the City of Elkhart. He says besides ordinary potholes there have been streets ruined and potholes created by the recent flooding.

“We had one on Lexington Street where a whole manhole water was coming through it and it sucked out dirt and created a cavity right in the center of the road.”

That whole manhole had to be replaced. Morgan says the parks department has seen whole paved trails wash out as they were covered by flood waters.

He says the city may still get some federal money to fix flood damaged roads, but they’ll still have to pay to fix the regular potholes.

Morgan says they’ve already spent about $20,000 only on cold patches for potholes, about double what they spend in a normal season. In 2017 Elkhart's street department spent $9,720, Morgan says it was an easy winter. This year they're poised to spend about $23,000.


He says high costs will eat into money for repaving projects and they may have to ask the council for more funding.


Director of Streets and Sewers in South Bend Derick Roberts said they shouldn't have to cut any repaving projects, but roads with lots of potholes will be given priority.


He says they aren't seeing flood damage to streets. They are still working to clean up dirt and debris that washed into flooded roads.