VDOT, Richmond "Pothole Blitz" ends, but work continues

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Today marks the end to the "Pothole Blitz" for VDOT and the City of Richmond is wrapping up its own blitz, too. But, the work is still ongoing to make sure all of the potholes are filled.

Road crews are still out on the roads, but drivers like Felicia Justice have a simple plea: "Hurry up and get them done!"

Felicia drives on Interstate 95 pretty often and her big SUV has fallen victim to the big holes in the middle of the road.

"I wasn't driving on a flat tire, but the air was seeping out. So, I had to get a tire change," says Felicia.

Jennifer Curran is noticing a change though. "It's better than it was but I think I may have done some damage to my car. It's a lot rockier of a ride than it used to be."

VDOT is working to make the ride smoother for everyone. Since March 1, about 120,000potholes statewide have been filed under the blitz, with about 16,000 of them here in the Richmond area.

"That's a lot of potholes! I call potholes 'weeds.' And, I say, okay we pulled all these weeds and they still are going to crop up," says Dawn Eischen with VDOT. "But this is the time of year when the weeds pop up the most."

The recent rain actually caused some of the holes to open back up again. The reason for that is simple: "We were using the cold patch. We had to use the cold patch because the temperature was below 40 degrees," adds Eischen.

Now that the weather has warmed up, a more permanent fix is being used to fill the holes. Also, just because the blitz is over today, the work will not stop.

Millions of dollars are still available to work on the primary and secondary roads and it doesn't cost VDOT a penny more for crews to continue to refill the holes on the interstates. That's because they pay a contractor one lump sum to do as much work on the interstates that is needed.

"The quicker that would happen, the better off everyone would be," Justice says laughing.

That, the understatement of the year, from some frustrated drivers.

As for the City of Richmond, they are wrapping up its own pothole blitz as well. We're told thousands of holes have been filled in the city too.

If you see or hit a pothole, you can still report it to VDOT by filing a claim on their website, calling 311 in Richmond and by going to our traffic page to report a pothole. Tell us where the worst of the worst are!

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.