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City begins using hot mix on potholes, but no strip patching yet

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The city is ramping up its approach to pothole patching. 

The Department of Public Works said Wednesday's dry weather allowed them to use a longer-lasting material — hot mix asphalt — but cold temperatures are still hampering their plans. 

Public Works had hoped to use the hot mix starting Monday, but wet weather moved those plans to Wednesday. 

"The cold mix, the winter mix, it's not permanent," Public Works Director Dan Parker said. "It doesn't have the bind to the existing pavement as the hot mix does."

According to Parker, the hot asphalt plants that city uses close in December. The plants opened back up this week. 

Parker said in a Monday interview that "as soon as the hot mix plants open" crews would also start patching up entire strips of certain roads as opposed to just pothole patching. 

"People will see the strip patching out across the city," Parker said. 

However, a Public Works spokesperson said Wednsday that crews would need higher temperatures for strip patching and the process is ideal when temperatures are above 40 degrees. 

Public Works did not provide a new date on when strip patching can start. Temperatures are expected to rise above 40 on Thursday. 

Parker said Monday that, when the process does start, North Senate Boulevard near IU Health Methodist Hospital will be one of the first areas targeted. 

Public Works stuck to pothole patching Wednesday and sent 21 crews out on the roads. 

A spokesperson said a few of the roads Public Works hit were South Mithoeffer Road from East Washington Street to Prospect Street, 38th Street from East Fall Creek Parkway North Drive to Shadeland Avenue, and North Meridian Street from 18th to 96th streets. 

News 8 also saw a crew on West 16th Street.

One local person, Alexis Harrison, hoped Public Works would patch up a big pothole near her office at East 33rd and North Pennsylvania streets. 

"I think it's terrible. Every day, I'm sitting up in my office and I hear like a 'boom boom,'" Harrison said. "I look out the window, and there are cars that have gone through it. Cars that are backing up and going around it."

The city's online pothole tracker shows more than 4,800 open repair requests. Public Works encourages drivers to report potholes on the online pothole tracker.

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