BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Each year, Louisiana taxpayers foot the bill for approximately $7 million in pothole repairs. State transportation leaders report that figure could go up as a result of the historic rain event in August.
A drive around East Baton Rouge Parish reveals potholes on streets, shoulders, and in private driveways. Potholes have long been a big headache for Louisiana drivers.
Rodney Mallet with the Louisiana DOTD said state workers are out at least three days a week making repairs.
"We're coming in. We're filling up the hole, packing it down, and moving on to the next one," Mallet said.
Mallet said state workers drive every road in EBR every two weeks looking for potholes. A maintenance crew of about 16 workers also address a log of complaints.
"A lot of it is based on severity. If we have one that's going to be dangerous, then we are going to go get that one first," Mallet said.
Mallet said days of rain leading up to the historic flood event battered Louisiana roadways.
"It's not that the water sat on the roadway. It's the water got into the cracks and asphalt," Mallet said.
Mallet said drivers will unlikely see the problems now. He said it is when the colder months hit that they will start to notice a difference.
"The cold weather will cause that water to expand and when it goes away it starts to fail. We are going to see a lot of potholes in regions such as Louisiana," Mallet said.
The state reports, on average, they repair 2,500 potholes each year. Mallet said until the temperature d rops, there is no way to tell just how many of Louisiana's roads were impacted by this year's heavy rains.
To report potholes on Louisiana state highways, call (877) 452-3683 or send an email to DOTDCS@la.gov.