Strip Patching vs. Filling: Is one method for filling potholes really better than the other?

Posted at 6:37 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 19:13:36-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are several methods that can be used when filling in potholes on roads across the city but deciding which one will actually do the job is a decision Department of Public Works has to make each time they send crews out to work.

An asphalt mix can be used to patch up smaller holes and areas where the damage to the road isn't quite as extensive. 

Larger problem areas sometimes require strip patching. That’s where crews take up an entire section of road and repatch it – like the work crews have been doing on Fall Creek Parkway between 38th Street and Keystone over the past week.

Strip patching lasts longer so it would make sense that crews would use it more often – but that’s not always the case – DPW says there are many reasonings behind what they decide to do.

"Cost is definitely a factor when it comes to strip patching and pothole filling. some roads if you fill a pothole especially if we're doing it with a hot mix that pothole fill will last for a long time,” said Dewayne Clemmons, DPW Crew Leader. “With some areas when folks are having to get into other lanes to dodge the potholes we want to strip patch those areas just because it's so rough we want to make sure that we're making it as safe as possible."

Clemmons – who has been with the department for 20 years - says his crews get just as frustrated as drivers when the work they’ve done doesn’t stick.

“We'll get our work orders in the morning and we'll say, man we just did that street,” said Clemmons. “We get there and of course man it looks like we haven't even been here. so yeah, it's discouraging, some say it's job security but we want to be able to move on."

He also says this year’s pothole problems are the worst he’s ever seen.

To report a pothole, the best way is to contact the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622, or by using the RequestIndy portal.

You can see if any potholes you’ve noticed are already on DPW’s radar by going to the pothole viewer map. See that map below, or click here for the direct link to the map.

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