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Driver concerned over freeway pothole


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Driver concerned over freeway pothole

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Nov 14, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Even with limited moisture in the desert, drivers in Nevada can't completely escape potholes.

In fact, a driver sent Action News a video of a rut in the road along the northbound lanes of U.S. 95 before the Interstate 15 interchange near downtown Las Vegas. The video was shot about a week ago.

"It's kind of rough over there but if the state plans to spend some money on making it easier or smoother and stuff like that, it will be a great idea," said driver Jesus Martin.

Potholes, sometimes also called spalling concrete, can make for a rough or dangerous commute. Some can even damage vehicles.

Action News asked the Nevada Department of Transportation what leads to most potholes on roads around the valley.

"Mostly, it's traffic. It's weight," said Mohamed Rouas, NDOT assistant district engineer. "Sometimes, buses can aggravate the issue."

Rouas said it's unclear exactly how many are out there, but noted the agency does not receive many complaints.

NDOT spent $450,000 this year to patch up potholes and spalling concrete on bridges along I-15. NDOT spokesman Damon Hodge said roughly 1,000 square feet of new pavement was put down as part of the project. The costs include labor and traffic control.

"Depending on the severity, if it's a safety issue we try to address it right away," Rouas said.

The state tries to avoid potholes before they form with regular maintenance of roads, Rouas said. Problems on freeways can be especially dangerous because drivers are moving quicker than surface roads.

Rouas looked at the video from U.S. 95 and believes the rut was likely caused by spalling concrete on an aging bridge deck.

"Drivers need to be careful, of course, and we will try to address that as soon as possible," Rouas said.

NDOT hopes the upcoming Project NEON will replace aging structures around the "spaghetti bowl" interchange, which could reduce potholes in the area. Rouas said the average pothole fix lasts about three to four years.