As winter fades in the rearview mirror, spring brings another set of concerns on the roads: potholes. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) routinely patrols state-maintained highways for potholes between winter storms and patches them based on severity and customer input about pothole locations. MDOT SHA encourages the public to report potholes on our Customer Care Management System.
“The main ingredient for potholes is water from winter precipitation going through several freeze-thaw cycles,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith. “We are in that time of year, so MDOT SHA appreciates the public alerting us to the location of the potholes and encourages motorists to use extra caution while driving near crews working to repair the pavement.”
A pothole is formed when moisture seeps into a pavement crack and freezes during low temperatures, then thaws during warmer weather. This stresses the pavement, and when vehicles drive over that area of the pavement, potholes form. For additional information on potholes, please check out MDOT SHA’s pothole fact sheet.
MDOT SHA crews generally will fill potholes with a “cold patch” between winter storms. When temperatures rise above 50 degrees, hot mix asphalt is used for a more permanent repair.
MDOT SHA spends about $3 million patching potholes each year and repairs approximately 23,000 square yards of asphalt, which equates to approximately 34,000 potholes. The average cost to repair a pothole is approximately $90, which includes material, labor, equipment, and traffic control.
The easiest and most convenient way to report a pothole on a state highway is to visit MDOT SHA’s webpage at www.roads.maryland.gov and click “Contact Us,” then click on “Service Request Form” to access the Customer Care Management System. The MDOT SHA maintenance shop responsible for that area will make every attempt to repair reported potholes on state highways within one business day.
MDOT SHA works hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for our crews as well as our customers. SHA reminds motorists to “Move Over” when encountering highway construction and maintenance crews, stay alert, focus on driving, and look for reduced speed limits as well as other driving pattern changes. Please drive like you work here and slow down in work zones.