Rain, Road Construction Equals Potholes

Drivers complain of potholes on Airport Freeway in Irving


North Texas road crews are repairing a new crop of potholes after this week's rain.

Road construction zones are the most likely location for potholes because of aging or temporary pavement where water can more easily get under the road surface.

"Be aware that after a hard storm like that, or if we get a lot of drought again this summer, then the pavement is going to buckle, and there are going to be potholes," said Michelle Releford, Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

Early Wednesday, drivers on State Highway 183 in Irving complained that road crews overlooked big potholes on the dark pavement near Story Road for hours.

Ray Drake hit one, and his car suffered a blowout.

"You're going 60 mph," he said. "You really can't miss it, you know. I got no choice but to hit it head on, so that's what happened. Now I've been sitting out here for hours since it happened."

Releford said crews made the repairs before rush hour but could not do so sooner because water still was in the holes from Tuesday's rain.

"As soon as it was dry enough, we got out there," she said.

Even when highway crews know a pothole needs repair, it is difficult to post a temporary warning for drivers on a dark road, Releford said.

"In a situation like that, it would be more hazardous to put barrels around where the potholes are, because people would start slamming into the barrels," she said. "So in a situation like that, you've got to hope people are paying attention, using their headlights, slowing down anyway and avoiding them, and then, as soon as we can get a crew out there to fix it, we do."

The main lanes of Highway 183, or Airport Freeway, near Story Lane are squeezed for feeder road construction, so drivers' wheels are rolling on the seams of the old pavement, making potholes more likely, especially after rain.

Releford said the Wednesday morning repair on Airport Freeway was faster than it might have been elsewhere because a contractor doing the feeder roadwork has an asphalt repair supply nearby at a staging area at the site of the old Texas Stadium.

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