As its name suggests, a pothole is a bowl-shaped hole in a road that usually forms as a result of water seeping into pavement cracks and freezing during winter months.
Because water expands when it freezes, the cracks become wider and deeper. Over time, the larger cracks, combined with the weight of traffic, cause the road's pavement to break up.
While potholes are more prevalent in early spring, they can occur year-round.
Repairing potholes is important because they not only lead to more expensive road repairs but cause wear and tear on your vehicle, make for bumpy rides and pose safety risks.
Potholes vs. Other Roadway Defects
Not all defects in the road are potholes. For various reasons, the top layer of pavement can break and form a shallow divot, known as delamination.
N.C. Department of Transportation crews work proactively to maintain and repair about 80,000 miles of state-maintained roads in North Carolina – enough to drive from Wilmington to Barstow, Calif., 31 times.
Because of the vast number of roads, NCDOT typically only patches delaminations if they are severe. There simply is not enough funding to patch every roadway imperfection.
Report a Pothole
NCDOT is committed to repairing potholes on state-maintained roads within two business days when they are reported using the
online pothole reporting system.
To report potholes on other roads, contact the local public works department. For other issues or concerns about state-maintained roads,
contact NCDOT or call 1-877-DOT-4YOU (1-800-368-4368).