Highway and road potholes are one of the fallouts of the major precipitation all over Southern California this winter, including in the San Jacinto Mountains. State highways 74 and 243, as well as Riverside County roads, are more difficult to drive under the circumstances, especially in more trafficked areas.

Caltrans handles the state highways. The Riverside County Transportation and Land Management Agency (RCTLMA) hands surface streets. Both were reached to find out how the potholes are being repaired.

Attempted pothole repair on Sanders Meadow Road, around the corner from Idyllwild School.

Caltrans Public Information Officer Eric Dionne said, “Crews will continue to actively fill potholes all-around the District’s mountain community areas as they find them and weather permits. This is within the standard Caltrans Winter Snow Plan.

“Our maintenance crews have months of work ahead of them from all the storm damages caused by the recent State of Emergency from late February into March. We ask for patience while we address all of these issues the best we can.”

RCTLMA’s response was different. A representative who would not give her name said the county does not have any schedule on repairing potholes.

She said residents may submit a road repair request at https://rctlma.org/trans/Road-Maintenance/Road-Repairs. A representative will contact the resident.

According to the American Public Works Association,

“Potholes are created when the top layer of pavement and the material beneath — called the base or sub-base — cannot support the weight of the traffic. Two factors are always present in such a failure: traffic and water.

“The ‘gestation period’ for a pothole includes: 1) Snow-melt or rain seeps through cracks in the pavement and into the sub-base; if the moisture cannot adequately drain away from the sub-base and soil underneath, it becomes saturated and soft.

“2) Trapped moisture is subjected to repeated freeze/thaw cycles–and with each occurrence the expanding ice lifts and cracks the pavement more. The passing traffic weakens the pavement, cracking it further.

“3) As temperatures rise and the ice melts, a void is left under the pavement. This void collects more water, and during the next freeze, the void will enlarge.

“4) Vehicles driving over the weakened pavement pound it until the surface breaks and collapses into the void below, thus creating a pothole.”