IDAHO FALLS — Recent weather conditions have been wreaking havoc on Idaho roads and drivers’ cars. Pancheri Drive in Idaho Falls, along with a number of other areas, has had some impressive potholes that readers have been bringing to our attention.
If you think the potholes have been worse this year, you’re right.
“Unfortunately, the early freeze and thaw cycles, freezing rain, subzero temperatures, and a significant amount of precipitation caused the potholes to develop earlier than most years,” Idaho Falls Public Works spokeswoman Kerry Hammon told EastIdahoNews.com.
But the issue isn’t only in Idaho Falls. Roads from Pocatello to Rexburg are in need of repair. Some of those, including Yellowstone Avenue and Broadway Street in Idaho Falls and Second East in Rexburg, fall under the jurisdiction of the Idaho Transportation Department.
“We are working with local contractors to address the pothole problem,” ITD stated in a news release this week. “We are hopeful that we can start filling and repairing the roads this week, weather permitting.”
Although this sounds hopeful, Hammon points out that ITD is facing the same challenges as IFPW.
“The hot asphalt (plants) are closed until mid-April, so we are using material that fixes (potholes) temporarily until those plants open and we can fix them with more permanent materials,” she said.
Bottom line: don’t expect the patches or repairs you see this week to last.
The Pancheri Bridge is a great example of that.
“The Idaho Falls Street Division has filled the potholes on the Pancheri Bridge at least seven times over the last week,” the department stated in a news brief dated Jan. 4, 2023. The constant freezing and thawing in recent weeks have had the same effect it did back in January: broken patches.
The recurring snow storms that have been hitting the area also slow down road repairs.
“The same personnel who are applying salt and sand and keeping the roads clear of ice and snow are those who are also repairing potholes,” the press release states. “The potholes that are causing a public safety hazard will be filled as staffing schedules allow.”
So what are drivers to do in the meantime?
First, slow down. Be aware of your surroundings as you drive. If you come upon a pothole, safely maneuver around it if there aren’t any vehicles or other objects keeping you from doing so.
And don’t forget to report potholes to the proper department.
“Potholes appear quickly and we don’t always see them, so we appreciate those who are using our online reporting tool or giving the street division a call to report them,” said Hammon. “In Idaho Falls, we do our absolute best to fill a pothole within 24 hours.”
To report potholes in Idaho Falls, you may use the mobile app, or you can go to the Idaho Falls Street Division’s website. Or, you may call the street division directly at (208) 612-8490.
For highways, contact ITD.