MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you drive in Memphis, you know there’s a pothole problem, but the Tennessee Department of Transportation is hitting the road with solutions.
The week of Feb. 13, TDOT is expected to start putting down a more permanent solution to fix potholes, according to TDOT Regional Director of Operation, Michael Welch.
“We’re pretty aware of those potholes that do exist,” Welch said. “We had three ice storms back-to-back last week, which is really hard on our roadways and our workers and our equipment and everything to keep that going and try to keep the roads clear.”
While rain might not seem like a big deal for a small pothole that’s been filled, the rain freezing combined with the temporary solution for the potholes is where the problem comes into play.
“It’s just a mixture of asphalt and rocks,” Welch said. “It’s not our first choice to use, but it’s what’s available right now.”
Unfortunately for any Memphians who’ve experienced these potholes, the permanent solution can’t go into place until the weather starts getting better.
“The hot mix is what they actually make in an asphalt plant where they heat up the rock and add asphalt that sits in the back of a dump truck that we use to pave roads and stuff like that,” Welch said. “That’s our ideal material to use to fix potholes in areas that are damaged.”
The week of Feb. 13, that temporary solution will be taken out and the hot mix will be put in it’s place.
While residents typically can see some traffic when maintenance vehicles are fixing potholes using the short-term coal mixture, TDOT is not expecting traffic delays when it comes to putting down the long-term solution.
“When we advertise that we want some work done, we let them know ... 'hey we want this work done at night during minimal traffic hours where it’s a less impact of traffic, and it’s safer for you to work and safe for everybody on the road and they don’t have that congestion and those potential threats,” Welch said.
As always, you can continue to report potholes you see on state routes and highways to TDOT by calling, emailing or reaching out on social media.