Little Rock Public Works and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department are refocusing their attention from salt trucks to potholes following recent winter weather.
Although a specific weather event doesn’t create an instant pothole, Public Works Operations Coordinator Mark Jacobi said two weeks of snow and ice have contributed to some damage on area roadways.
"We like to try to repair them as fast as we can because what’s really bad is when the water finally soaks through underneath the asphalt and gets into the sub-base material,” Jacobi said.
He also said they have extra personnel on the job to address the potholes. In an average year, Public Works fixes approximately 1300 potholes, according to Jacobi.
Spokesman for the State Highway and Transportation department Danny Straessle said colder air affects the extent to which their crews can make repairs.
“We need warmer weather to make the kind of fix that we want to make. What we do now, in these colder temperatures, is a quick and temporary fix,” Straessle said.
The reason for the potholes, he said is because the ground is expanding and contracting because of the constant freeze-thaw cycle occurring beneath the sub-layer. “All it takes is for a crack in the pavement, for the water to seep down in there,” he added.
Both Jacobi and Straessle said proactively reporting potholes is important so their crews can address them in an adequate amount of time. It also cuts down costs spent for repairs, they said.
To report potholes along highways visit idrivearkansas.com.
To report a pothole on city roads, contact the 311 non-emergency service number.