Pothole Repairs Underway in Laurel

Posted on: March 20, 2015

Any driver in South Mississippi knows what a pothole is. But did they know that potholes are primarily created by the weather? Potholes are created when moisture from rain and/or snow seeps into the pavement, freezing, expanding, and then thawing. This weakens the pavement. Traffic loosens the pavement even more, and it eventually crumbles and pops out. Recently, the extreme cold and freezing weather in our area produced plenty of potholes. An important part of the Public Works department road maintenance division is the repair of potholes. Potholes are repaired temporarily during cold weather with a cold asphalt mix because manufacturers of hot asphalt are closed. During cold weather, the repairs are limited to those determined to be hazardous for motor vehicles. Now that the weather is improving and hot asphalt mix is available, potholes will be filled for a more permanent repair.

“The city maintains over 160 miles of asphalt and concrete roads and a pothole may occur at any time without notice. That is why the city is asking motorists to be patient with our crews as they repair potholes for the next couple of days. The Laurel Public Works Department is working diligently to make our streets safe for travel,” said Public Works Director, Lorenzo Anderson.

In addition, there are several road repair construction projects going on around the city to improve sewer, water, gas and communication lines. With the repairs come many “cut outs” in the road that are necessary for progress to be made. The city and the construction companies do their best to warn the public as to hazardous conditions that have been created by using cones and barrels. Some tips for drivers where potholes are a concern:

  • Maintain full air pressure in all tires to give as much cushion as possible between the pothole and the rim of the tire.
  • Before swerving around potholes be sure to check surrounding traffic.
  • Beware of standing water that may conceal a deep pothole.
  • If the pothole cannot be avoided, slow down. Hitting a pothole at high speed increases the chance of damage to tires, wheels, shocks, struts and springs.
  • Don’t brake directly over a pothole. Applying the brakes causes the car’s weight to shift to the front wheel and can increase damage. It’s better to brake before impact and then roll through the pothole at a low speed.
  • When driving over a pothole-filled road, hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control.

However, if a citizen hits a pothole or a cut out and causes damage to the vehicle the owner, the city is not liable. Other

  • When the city has no knowledge that a condition exits; such as erosion underneath the street causing a sink hole;
  • Unreported or undocumented pot holes;
  • Drivers ignore warning cones or barrels over pot holes or cut outs;
  • An act of God such as heavy rains or high winds knocking down trees or popping a manhole cover.

Please contact the City of Laurel Action Line at 601.428.6405 or email to report potholes.