With the warmer temperatures of spring upon us, Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews now are focusing on repairing the potholes that have formed on the state highway system over the last several weeks.
"Pothole repairs are taking place throughout the state, as weather conditions allow," said CDOT Division of Highway Maintenance Director Kyle Lester. "I'm asking for people to slow down driving around our mobile work zones. Our crews are doing their best to repair the highways and make the road surface safer for travel."
Throughout the early spring, drivers should be prepared for moving, single lane closures, along with possible delays, while potholes are being repaired.
For safety sake, CDOT recommends that if you cannot avoid a pothole, please reduce your speed and check your rear or sideview mirrors before swerving or braking abruptly. Hitting a pothole at higher speeds greatly increases the chance of damaging tires, wheels and suspension components. Also, puddles require extra caution since they can disguise a deep hole.
Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water under the pavement. When the water freezes, it fills more space under the pavement, which then expands, bends and cracks, weakening the road surface. When the ice melts, the pavement contracts, leaving gaps or voids underneath the surface. This continuous "freeze - thaw" cycle weakens the pavement and allows it to continue cracking. As the weight of vehicles pass over the weakened pavement, it causes it to break and creates a pothole.
"If a driver sees or hits a pothole on a state highway, we encourage them to contact us so we can get a repair scheduled," added Lester. "We appreciate it when drivers let us know where a pothole has formed so we can repair it as soon as possible."
The public can call CDOT's hotline number to report a pothole to a customer service representative for each area of the state:
- Metropolitan Denver - Region One: 303.759.2368
- Southeastern Colorado - Region Two: 719.562.5568
- Northwestern Colorado - Region Three: 970.243.2368
- Northeastern Colorado - Region Four: 970.350.2368
- Southwestern Colorado - Region Five: 970.385.1423