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Potholes wreak havoc on roadway


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A large pothole on Emerson Avenue in Whiteland. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
A large pothole on Emerson Avenue in Whiteland. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Cars avoid a large pothole on Emerson Avenue in Whiteland. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Cars avoid a large pothole on Emerson Avenue in Whiteland. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

A truck drives past a large pothole on Emerson Avenue in Whiteland. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
A truck drives past a large pothole on Emerson Avenue in Whiteland. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal


Potholes have damaged a busy road near Whiteland so much this winter that simply repaving it might not be good enough.

Drivers going to work at Endress+Hauser or heading to and from Clark-Pleasant’s intermediate and middle schools frequently travel the 1.5-mile stretch of Emerson Avenue between Worthsville and Tracy roads to avoid U.S. 31.

Large potholes have formed and continually reopened after being patched near Tracy Road this winter. Trying to keep the road smooth has been a losing battle, Whiteland street superintendent Norm Gabehart said.

“We’re trying to respond to the ones that are the worst and deal with them and come up with the plan for a long-term fix,” Gabehart said. “It’s getting to the condition where we don’t know if resurfacing is going to be enough.”

If the town has to do a more extensive repair and fix or replace the road base underneath the pavement, the work would be significantly more expensive, he said.

Planning repairs and fixing potholes also have been complicated because three different governments are responsible for sections of the road.

The southern end of the road is in Whiteland, and the northern section is in Greenwood. A piece in the middle is part of the unincorporated county, until it’s turned over to Greenwood as part of an annexation on April 2, Greenwood Deputy Mayor Terry McLaughlin said.

The potholes aren’t as frequent or severe on the northern end of the road, although some sections have rough pavement from years of previous patching. If repairs are needed on the whole road this year, Greenwood and Whiteland could work together on the project, McLaughlin said.

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