Every year when the weather changes, the asphalt cracks and creates craters in the road. While city and county crews have spent much of the last few weeks and months trying to fill each one, the weather isn't helping them. That leaves drivers to deal with the bone-rattling consequences.
If you've never hit a pothole, you've probably dodged a few on your daily drive. Transportation crews across the Tri-State repair them year-round and especially during winter when freezing temperatures take their toll on the roads. The endless cycle of freezing and thawing creates spaces in the roads oftentimes raising the road surface. When the snow plows come by, those raised surfaces are often sheared off, thus, a pothole is born.
Jake Kohlmeyer knows how potholes are born and he knows what they can do.
"I knew in advance there was a pothole so I thought I would swerve when I got to it," Kohlmeyer said as he recalled his January 10th drive on Boonville-New Harmony Road. "inconveniently enough, here comes traffic down the opposite lane. I couldn't swerve and hit the pothole and thought I was okay. Well, I made it a few hundred feet and realized I wasn't okay."
And neither was his car. The pothole caused a bent rim, a flat tire and put his car out of alignment. He wouldn't be alone. The fire cars behind him would also meet this not-so-friendly inconvenience, Kohlmeyer said.
"When it happens to a lot of people, well, you're in good company especially when you know one of the people that hit the hole," Kohlmeyer said.
While Kohlmeyer's pothole experience happened in the county, the problem applies to city, state and county roads.
"It's been an active winter so it's kind of hard on the roads with it being this cold," said Todd Robertson, the director of Evansville's Department of Transportation. "We're using a high performance cold-mix patch but when it gets below 25 degrees, that material doesn't cooperate as well with us. When we get that first cooperative opportunity, we try to go out and take care of it."
Luckily, Kohlmeyer said has found cooperation with the county when it comes to being reimbursed for the damage.
"We submitted one claim and then we found the second problem we submitted the second claim," Kohlmeyer said. "It's been an easy process but it takes a while to hear back from their insurance."
Robertson encourages the public to report potholes.
Here are some other contact numbers to report potholes in your area.
Vanderburgh County Highway Garage 435-5777
Warrick County Highway Dept. 897-6126
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 1-800-PATCH-IT
City of Owensboro 687-4444
Illinois Department of Transportation 1-800-452-4368