UDOT begins to patch up potholes after winter weather
SALT LAKE CITY — While winter storms create messy commutes on Utah roads, they also bring out another pesky problem; potholes.
It’s a headache that the Utah Department of Transportation deals with every year as they spend one-million dollars to patch each year, according to John Gleason, spokesman for UDOT.
“This is the time of year where you are going to see a lot of potholes on the roads because of the freeze-thaw cycle, we have if there are any cracks in the roads, and then you have water that seeps in, and then it freezes, that can really cause those potholes to happen very rapidly,” Gleason explains.
The money UDOT spends from its maintenance budget goes toward the hours of labor and materials to fill potholes. Since July 2022, UDOT has spent $406,000 of that budget– and more money will continue to come out of that budget, especially in the coming months.
Because of how rapidly potholes occur, Gelson said they have crews out 24/7 filling them.
“They can become a safety concern. If you hit a pothole going freeway speeds, it can cause damage to your vehicle. At the worst, it can cause you to crash,” he said.
A 2021 Triple A study showed that damage caused by potholes cost drivers a total of $26.5 billion, averaging $600 per repair. And unfortunately, the much-needed snow plows are making the situation worse.
“As you’re seeing more traffic here, that’s something to keep our eye on. More truck traffic, more snow plows, the salt that we use, all of that can accelerate the potholes that we see on our roads,” Gleason said.
He also said if anyone sees a pothole, UDOT wants to hear about it.
“If we can make our roads last longer, it saves us all money in the long run, so we have to stay on top of the maintenance of our roads, and that includes filing potholes,” Gleason explained.
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