SALT LAKE CITY — Colder weather can translate into more potholes out on the roads, but the Utah Department of Transportation has patrols out on the roads top patch things up.
Ken Syme works with UDOT, and he said his crews are keeping an eye out for potholes throughout the year. He said potholes develop based on a variety of factors.
“Weather, traffic, snowplows—everything [contributes] to it,” he said.
Syme said the recent weather conditions can lead to more potholes as water under the roads expands and contracts.
“We’ve had really cold temperatures,” he said. “It went from warm to really cold back to the freeze, thaw thing.”
Potholes are a nuisance, but Syme said catching and patching them early can save taxpayer’s money because it makes it so UDOT doesn’t have to re-pave entire roads.
“We’re stewards of the taxpayer money, and we do this to preserve the infrastructure to keep costs down,” Syme said.
Syme said it is currently too cold to allow potholes to be fixed permanently, so they are putting down temporary patches until they can be fixed in the spring. Syme said they first clean the potholes before applying an asphalt repair mix called QPR. They then wheel-roll the application to finish the job.
When temperatures are above 50 degrees in the spring, some of those patches will be removed and replaced with hot-poured asphalt, which is a stronger, longer lasting material–but it can’t be used in the cold.
Syme said there are quite a few potholes on the roads, and they are working to get them fixed quickly.
“There’s lots of potholes, and we get to them as quickly as possible,” he said. “Depending on the severity, the location, if it poses a safety threat—those are the ones we target first.”
Syme said all of these efforts are in the interest of keeping people safe.
“We’re here to try and make it better and safer for everybody, so everybody can get where they’re going safely,” Syme said.
To report a pothole or other problem to UDOT, click here.