Freezing Weather Plus Thaw Recipe For Tulsa Potholes

Monday, December 16th 2013, 7:23 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Monday's spring-like weather has created a problem with the roads - last week's freezing weather created potholes that show up now that the ground has thawed.

The biggest trouble spots today were on Interstate 44 in West Tulsa - and the Broken Arrow Expressway near downtown Tulsa.

One morning driver rumbled over a concrete washboard getting into downtown. ODOT is working on patches - but putting off real repairs until spring

Those potholes on the Broken Arrow Expressway really are as bad as you think. They're deep and wide - and getting deeper and wider with every passing day.

"It's pretty bad, dude, I just went over one that's a good foot deep," one driver said.

The BA between downtown and Utica is especially bad and drivers have started calling ODOT to complain.

The potholes are in between the lanes and on the side - so there's almost no way to avoid them.

ODOT says the problem is the combination of a freeze and thaw buckling the road.

"It's the freeze," said Martin Stewart of ODOT. "We had five to seven days when it didn't get above freezing, and it will literally tear up a road surface.

The problem is worse on sections of older roads where cracks let water get underneath. For drivers - it's hard on tires and nerves when you can't get around them.

ODOT is working on repairs - but sometimes more urgent repairs take priority. Two bridge repairs Monday came first - but then pothole repairs started on both the BA, and on I-44 at Highway 75.

It's the kind where workers run out between cars to fill the holes.

The repairs are temporary - and may not even last a week - but with more cold weather on the way, ODOT says permanent repairs will have to wait.

"Right now it's about keeping them together. With another storm coming, we're going to run into the same situation. Maybe these won't pop out, we'll have some new ones come in," said ODOT's Martin Stewart.

ODOT says if drivers report a bad pothole - they'll send out someone to patch it. The number to call during the day is 918-838-9933, or Star 55 on cell phones.