Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 5, 2014

ODOT eyeing pothole problems

TAHLEQUAH — Potholes that popped up last winter and in years past along the State Highway 51 bypass often irk drivers, even after a number of attempts by state maintenance employees to fill the holes.

Those holes and the patchwork materials make for a bumpy ride, especially near the intersection of the bypass and Park Hill Road.

“Our maintenance guys have been out there several times,” said Cody Boyd, of the Media and Public Relations Division of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. “They were last out there on May 19. The last time that area was resurfaced was about nine years ago. With some of the weather we’ve had this year – the long winter and lots of freezing and thawing events, coupled with a high-traffic area – it’s going to wear down.”

Boyd said maintenance crews have several approaches available for trying to patch potholes.

“The material they use will affect how long the fill lasts,” said Boyd. “They’ve got an asphalt that comes just in a bag, a cold mix, and you just go out and dump it in the hole, or they can use the warm mix and use oil. They each have their pros and cons, depending on the weather.”

By using a bagged fill, crews can patch holes quickly and without having to disrupt as much traffic as when oil is involved.

Boyd said the area along the S.H. 51 bypass is particularly troublesome because of the depth of the damage to the road.

“With this particular area, a lot of the potholes are not very deep, and there’s not a lot of room for the patch to grab hold – they can’t fit very much material in there,” said Boyd.

Boyd said the ODOT crew stationed in Cherokee County will continue to keep an eye on the bypass.

“For the near term, the plan is to closely monitor that area and maintain it as needed,” said Boyd. “We’ve got a crew in every county, and the Cherokee County crew is in Tahlequah, so they monitor it regularly.”

Potholes on state highways can be reported to ODOT’s Cherokee County maintenance office at 918-456-3622, Boyd said.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

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