Story by Destinee Marking, Staff writer
Winter weather has provoked damage on area roadways, creating potholes and drivers are noticing.
Fluctuation in temperature and moisture is responsible for the increase in this issue.
Ron Allbritten, street and solid waste manager for the city of Murray, said the Murray Street Department sees an increase of pothole reports every year during winter months, but it is up to local residents to report them.
“Potholes form from the bottom up,” Allbritten said. “When the gravel underneath the asphalt obtains moisture and that moisture freezes, it expands. That’s what leads to a pothole.”
Since the city has 250 miles of streets to look over, Allbritten said people must be reporting potholes they notice.
“We really appreciate residents calling in and telling us about potholes, because they’re going to see them before we will,” Allbritten said.
When it comes to repairing potholes, Allbritten said different departments do it different ways, and the Murray Street Department has changed its process within the last couple of years to tackle the root of the issue.
“What we do is we go in and actually cut out a portion of the road and we repair the subgrade underneath where the pothole begins,” he said. “Then we repatch the road.”
Although this method costs more, Allbritten said it fixes the underlying problem, thus reducing the chances of the pothole reappearing.
Once a pothole is reported, the department aims to fix it within 10 business days.
According to the American Automobile Association, potholes are not just an inconvenience. Since 2011, at least 16 million drivers in the country have experienced pothole damage to their vehicles. Possible damage ranges from tire punctures to misalignment of the steering system.
“To help protect yourself, your car and your wallet from pothole damage, keep tires properly inflated, eliminate driving distractions, look ahead for road hazards, be wary of puddles that may hide potholes and keep a safe distance from other vehicles,” the AAA suggests.
Depending on where potholes are spotted, different departments need to be notified.
To report potholes in city streets, call the Murray Street Department at 270-762-0377.
To report potholes in county roads, call the Calloway County Road Department at 270-753-4846.
To report potholes in state highways, call 1-800-PATCH-IT or visit the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s website to fill out an online form. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is responsible for maintaining over 27,000 miles of state highways.