For Immediate Release
February 23, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett issued an Emergency Declaration to allow the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) to begin aggressively addressing the city’s deteriorating roadways and introduced a proposal to the City-County Council that would direct an additional $14 million to road repairs. These immediate repairs go beyond simply filling pot holes, and will include additional road resurfacing projects and the hiring of contractors to begin “strip patching” some of the worst segments of city roadways.
On top of the nearly $88 million budgeted for road infrastructure projects this year, Mayor Hogsett also announced his intention to submit a proposal to the City-County Council that would appropriate all dollars in the Rainy Day Fund not currently earmarked for road funding toward targeting Indianapolis roadways ravaged by this year’s winter weather. Hogsett also announced his intention to ask the Council to suspend normal rules and procedures and pass this proposal on the night it is introduced on March 12.
“With what some are calling the most drastic temperature swings we have seen in 25 years, Indianapolis’ roads are littered with potholes and crumbling pavement,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “The damage to our roads this year is frustrating for residents, and I share their frustration. When we setup this Rainy Day Fund in 2016, we put aside millions of dollars so we could be prepared to deal with an emergency when it came – today, I can say that the need is real, the dollars are available, and the time to act is now.”
The Emergency Declaration will allow DPW to go beyond our normal operational strength by putting multiple contractors out on roads to immediately begin strip patching the most crumbled, damaged segments of city streets. Strip patching is a process that removes significant sections of poor pavement, replacing the area with a permanent smooth asphalt patch. (An example of strip patching can be viewed here). Contractors will be in the field beginning next week, and strip patching will continue through April.
In addition, beginning Monday and continuing through Saturday, March 3rd, DPW will order a full call-out of 20 pothole crews and four contractor pothole-patching crews to help address the current road conditions.
Over the last month, there has been no greater priority for our crews than filling potholes – and next week we’ll have the weather we need to make the big impact drivers are asking for,” said Dan Parker, Director of DPW. “We want to use the hot mix to make longer lasting fixes to the major streets that motorists use every day, and we will be out on roads patching every day that weather allows.”
Indianapolis has seen severe deterioration of roads this winter due to rapid and repeated fluctuation of temperatures. These weather conditions have caused a surge in pothole service requests from residents since January 1, 2018. Since the beginning of the year, DPW has received more than 12,000 service requests for pothole repairs.
Since the last pothole blitz in late January, DPW has used “cold mix” asphalt to address potholes in miles of roadways throughout the City. “Cold mix” asphalt is available for short-term repairs during winter months, but it is not a substitute for a formal repair of “hot mix” asphalt which adheres better to pavement. This material is also affected by moisture, and washes away when rain affects the region.