Massive pothole disables several interstate travelers

By Laura Geller - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - As the roads start to clear up, it's become virtually impossible for drivers to avoid potholes.

One large pothole caused several flat tires on Interstate 64 Sunday, leaving drivers frustrated with the road conditions.

That frustration is going to stick around for quite some time.

The freezing temperatures and harsh conditions causing many of those potholes to pop up, is also preventing VDOT from being able to put down a more permanent fix on what's now a very bumpy road.

Cindy Reese and her husband were driving on I-64 from Virginia Beach all the way home to Michigan.

They made it through Short Pump when they felt an emotion that's becoming familiar to Richmonders.

"It was kind of just like oh no, we're going to hit it," she said. "We didn't see it until we were right on top of it because there were cars in front of us so you can only see so far in front of you and the guy swerved and we tried to swerve and we couldn't miss it."

The result of that impact: two flat tires, dented rims, and who knows what damage underneath.

The Reese's car is one of a handful scarred by the crater that looks several inches deep and a couple feet long.

VDOT officials say it's becoming a common site in a state with four distinct seasons and temperature ranges.

"It's just the nature of the beast," said VDOT spokesperson Taya Jarman. "There's really nothing we can do, especially when we have these extreme lows and extreme highs in the summertime, periodically you'll see pavement buckling when you have those high temperatures and there's really nothing we can do to prevent this from happening."

In cases where the potholes are causing damage to vehicles, crews will come out and apply what's called a "cold patch," but that's just a temporary fix.

They'll have to wait until the temperatures get above 40-degrees for something more permanent.

But as Cindy Reese waits for a tow truck, she wonders if that's enough.

"This reminds me of Detroit roads," she said. "But even in Detroit, they keep filling the potholes."

If a pothole damages your car, you can call your local VDOT office to learn how to file a claim.

But officials say with the weather, there is very little they can do to prevent these conditions, so it would be difficult to find them negligent.

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