Damage occurring on state highway

Flat tire

If you want to report a state highway area in need of attention for things such as potholes, debris in the road, etc., please contact the local county highway department.

The local county highway departments are responsible for state highway maintenance in your county, per Wis. Statute 84.07(1).

If your car is damaged due to a pothole, hitting a construction barrel or debris in the road, the state or county is not liable for your damage. Please contact your insurance company in those situations.


Potholes can form any time of year. They begin when water seeps into the soil under the roadway. WisDOT works in partnership with county highway maintenance departments to fix potholes on the state highway system, and drivers can report potholes directly to counties. The Wisconsin Counties Association is a good resource for county contact information.


Pavement buckling

pavement bucklingPavement buckles are different from potholes and most common when the weather quickly goes from cool to very hot, causing pavement to expand. This can cause concrete slabs of pavement to push against each other, and if the pressure becomes great enough the pavement can buckle. While it’s difficult to predict if or where buckling may occur, WisDOT offers the following tips for motorists:

  • Slow down, buckle up and eliminate distractions to focus your full attention on the roadway.
  • Watch for slowing traffic and be ready to move over for all roadside workers including highway crews as they repair damaged pavement.
  • Before your trip, check the 511 Travel Information system for the latest on any incidents or delays.
  • If necessary, report serious pavement issues by calling 911. Be ready to provide specific location information. 

Safe driving

Please exercise additional caution should you encounter maintenance operations while driving. Wisconsin's Move Over Law requires drivers to provide space for first responders as well as maintenance workers.