Emergency pothole repairs limiting traffic to 45 mph on I-69 near Anderson

Traffic was slowed by rain and potholes on I-69 near Anderson Thursday.
I-69 NB Pothole Problems
I69 potholes
I69 repairs

ANDERSON, Ind. (WTHR) - Indiana State Police say the speed limit along Interstate 69 from Anderson to Daleville will remain at 45 mph through the weekend. That's to give INDOT crews the time and space needed to fix the pothole-riddled pavement.

The pounding rain has created more potholes, made them harder to see and tougher to fix.

In fact, on Thursday, state police took the unusual step of escorting vehicles along that 14-mile section of interstate for safety reasons.

ISP Sgt. John Perrine with said the escorts weren't just about "preventing vehicle damage," but making sure "anyone doesn't get hurt," swerving to miss a pothole or trying to change a tire.

Still, many drivers still hit potholes head-on, resulting in numerous blow-outs. Mid-afternoon found six vehicles pulled over along the southbound off ramp at the Anderson/Pendleton exit.

As he watched his tire being changed, one man said, "obviously you've got the rain and the road narrowed with the semis, so traffic flow was tight and unfortunately, there's a pretty large hole right in the road."

A hole that also took out Berdan Lewis's sedan.

"I was just coming down the road, hit a pothole and it flattened my tire," Lewis said.

When told he actually had two flat tires, he breathed a heavy sign and said, "My back tire, too? Oh my gosh, I didn't even know that...Now I need to get a tow truck."

Tow truck drivers were kept on the run.

"It's pretty bad out there...it's easy to get your tires blown out there. You just have to pay attention and watch for signs put out as far as the potholes," Courtney Turner said.

In Indianapolis, a pothole on I-65 South near 71st Street also created traffic issues Thursday morning with as many as 10 drivers having to pull over because of flat tires. INDOT has since fixed that pothole but has a long list of others to fill.

Mallory Duncan, an INDOT spokesperson, said while filling potholes in the rain and fog is far from ideal, they now have additional crews from neighboring districts helping in the Indianapolis area.

Duncan said they have five overnight crews and two day crews assigned to patching potholes.

She said while the cold patch they're putting in will likely "wash out in the rain... it's safer to get something in that hole" even if it "washes out in a couple of hours or a day."

Duncan urged people to report potholes on state highways by going to INDOT4U.com.