CDOT plans fixes for potholes near Glenwood Springs |

CDOT plans fixes for potholes near Glenwood Springs

Alex Zorn
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Traffic makes its way on Colorado Highway 82 through the CMC turnoff light just south of Glenwood on Monday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

After a winter of heavy snows and icy roads, regional and statewide road officials will be looking at a busy spring and summer filling potholes along the state highways.

“Pothole repairs are taking place throughout the state, as weather conditions allow,” Colorado Department of Transportation Division of Highway Maintenance Director Kyle Lester said in a statement in early April. “I’m asking for people to slow down driving around our mobile work zones. Our crews are doing their best to repair the highways and make the road surface safer for travel.”

Region 3 CDOT public information officer Tracy Trulove said crews will start to use hot-mix asphalt beginning in the spring and summer, which produce better long-term results.

Grand River Construction Owner Gregg Rippy said they just started the hot-mix asphalt plant and will begin sending it out the door Friday. He said it can take as long as a week and a half to get the tanks up to the right heat, then they will leave them on through the summer.

Cold-mix asphalt can be used for temporary fixes on holes and patches during the winter months, but hot-mix asphalt lasts longer.

Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of groundwater under the pavement during the freeze-thaw cycle.

In the winter, when the water underneath the road and in the crevices of the pavement freeze and expand, the asphalt bends and cracks, weakening the road surface. When the weather warms again, the ice melts and the pavement contracts, leaving gaps or voids underneath the surface.

When you add the weight of cars driving over it, the pavement will break, thus creating potholes.

CDOT recommends that if you cannot avoid a pothole, reduce speed and check rear and sideview mirrors before swerving or braking abruptly.

Hitting a pothole at higher speeds greatly increases the chance of damaging tires, wheels and suspension components, according to road officials.

Northwestern Colorado drivers should call 970-243-2368 to report a pothole in the region.

“If a driver sees or hits a pothole on a state highway, we encourage them to contact us so we can get a repair scheduled,” Lester said in the statement.

Trulove said maintenance crews already have a pretty good idea where the major potholes are based on information from callers. She said the potholes were recorded and put in a spreadsheet so crews can easily identify them.

Potholes generally cost around $60 per square yard to fix, depending on the hole depth and width, according to CDOT.

It usually takes crews between 10 and 30 minutes to repair a pothole with at least three people minimum on the crew for operational safety purposes: two repairing the hole and one focused on work zone safety.

Full-lane closure is required, per CDOT protocol, on any travel lane requiring the stopping or exiting of vehicles.

One upcoming project for CDOT will be surface treatment to Colorado 82 at around milepost 1.5. She said the project will include both lanes east of 24th Street right around the Blake Street turnoff.

Trulove added that CDOT will release more concrete plans for paving specific sections of Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs once the weather warms and more hot-mix asphalt plants come online.