Crews Spring into Action Patching Potholes

April 2, 2019

DENVER – With the warmer temperatures of spring upon us, Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews now are focusing on repairing the potholes that have formed on the state highway system over the last several weeks. 

“Pothole repairs are taking place throughout the state, as weather conditions allow,” said CDOT Division of Highway Maintenance Director Kyle Lester.  “I’m asking for people to slow down driving around our mobile work zones.  Our crews are doing their best to repair the highways and make the road surface safer for travel.”

Throughout the early spring, drivers should be prepared for moving, single lane closures, along with possible delays, while potholes are being repaired. 

For safety sake, CDOT recommends that if you cannot avoid a pothole, please reduce your speed and check your rear or sideview mirrors before swerving or braking abruptly.  Hitting a pothole at higher speeds greatly increases the chance of damaging tires, wheels and suspension components.  Also, puddles require extra caution since they can disguise a deep hole. 

Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water under the pavement.  When the water freezes, it fills more space under the pavement, which then expands, bends and cracks, weakening the road surface.  When the ice melts, the pavement contracts, leaving gaps or voids underneath the surface.  This continuous “freeze – thaw” cycle weakens the pavement and allows it to continue cracking.  As the weight of vehicles pass over the weakened pavement, it causes it to break and creates a pothole. 

“If a driver sees or hits a pothole on a state highway, we encourage them to contact us so we can get a repair scheduled,” added Lester.  “We appreciate it when drivers let us know where a pothole has formed so we can repair it as soon as possible.”

The public can call CDOT’s hotline number to report a pothole to a customer service representative for each area of the state:

Metropolitan Denver – Region One: 303.759.2368

Southeastern Colorado – Region Two: 719.562.5568

Northwestern Colorado – Region Three: 970.243.2368

Northeastern Colorado – Region Four: 970.350.2368

Southwestern Colorado – Region Five: 970.385.1423


  • Average cost: $60 per square yard, depending on hole depth and width
  • Crew size: Operational safety requires three people minimum (two actively repairing pothole, one managing attenuator truck behind crew.  An attenuator truck isdesigned to meet all work zone safety requirements by absorbing the impact of a high (or low) speed crash and, in turn, saving workers’ lives.
  • Repair time: Varies between10 and 30 minutes, depending on hole depth and width.
  • Traffic impact: Full-lane closure required, per CDOT protocol, on any travel lane requiring the stopping or exiting of vehicles.

Driving through a Work Zone?

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones; obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers; drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts, and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be Patient!


CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and airports, and administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.