Drivers urged to watch for potholes in wake of winter storms

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 3:27 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - After three back-to-back major winter storms and then a preview of spring-like weather Wednesday, the roads in Lexington are starting to see an increase in potholes.

Driving to and from is something we all have to do each day but one thing we can all agree on is no one likes hitting a pothole. With temperatures increasing from below freezing to above average, the asphalt on the road is more likely to give way to potholes.

“The potholes form by water seeping into small cracks Into the pavement and asphalt and, what happens is, the cracks then become larger with the freezing and thawing cycle, of course plowing and salting, and actually just the sheer volume of traffic on the roadway,” said Natasha Lacy with the Division of Public Highways District 7.

Lacy says, with all of the winter storm activity over the past month, their crews are working to make sure their trucks and equipment are well maintained after the constant usage, along with assessing the roadways for pothole repairs.

“We depend on the public to report the potholes to us because, as I said, we cover state highways and 12 counties,” Lacy said.

Not only can snow and ice can contribute to pothole formation, but also heavy rain. As water ponds on the roadways, it can move through the cracks in the road and help to make these holes larger.

To a driver not on their game, it can lead to trouble.

“You need to always be paying attention to the roads and you’re driving, of course, to avoid any potholes because of your tires in your vehicle and also to report that us too so that we can have a crew that can go out and maintain the area,” Lacy said.

If you aren’t paying attention and hit a pothole, it can cause damage to the body of your car, the tires, and the wheels which, unless checked out at your local auto body shop, could eventually lead to bigger issues.

You can report potholes to officials by calling 1-800-PATCH IT or online here. You can also call 1-877-FOR-KYTC (1-877-367-5982).

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