PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL:
Governor McDonnell Announces the 2011 Pothole Blitz
~2010 Pothole Blitz Repaired More Than 161,000 Potholes~
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell directed the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to immediately start a coordinated campaign to patch the thousands of potholes that formed this winter across the Commonwealth. VDOT will use state and contractor resources to quickly identify and repair potholes on Virginia's highway system. Citizens are encouraged to assist this effort and report potholes to VDOT's Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD.
"Potholes aren't just bumps in the road, they are serious roadway hazards," said Governor McDonnell. "VDOT will address this problem as quickly as possible. We ask the citizens of the Commonwealth to help identify the location of these hazards so they can be quickly repaired. As pothole reports are received, VDOT crews will be dispatched to make repairs." McDonnell continued, "The goal is to improve everyone's safety and comfort as they travel the highways of Virginia."
VDOT and its interstate maintenance contractors are responsible for patching potholes on the 58,000 miles of state-maintained roadways in the Commonwealth. During the 2010 Pothole Blitz, more than 161,000 potholes were repaired.
How You Can Help
To report a pothole, citizens should visit www.VirginiaDOT.org or call VDOT's Customer Service Center at 1-800–FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623). TTY users, call 711. If the pothole is in a city, town, or the counties of Arlington or Henrico, please call the public works department in that location.
How Potholes Form
Potholes form when moisture seeps into pavement, freezes, expands and thaws. This cycle weakens the pavement. The weight of traffic loosens the pavement and over time the pavement begins to crumble.
A winter of heavy snow or rain and several freeze-thaw cycles may result in a proliferation of potholes in the spring. Crews have been working throughout the winter to patch the worst potholes, but pavement repair efforts have been hindered by snows and the freeze-thaw cycle that created potholes faster than crews could repair them.
Patching operations are prioritized by pothole severity and location, with some severe potholes on high-traffic roads filled within 24 hours, and most potholes on higher traffic roads repaired within four days.
Work crews are assigned a series of routes and repair all potholes as they progress through the routes. On multiple-lane roads, the work is generally accomplished as a mobile operation one lane at a time. Repairs are made with both cold and hot mix asphalt depending on the temperatures and the availability of materials. Hot mix is the preferred material as it is more permanent, but it is not effective until air temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees.
Some areas and types of pavements may require more extensive repairs. In these cases, crews will make temporary repairs immediately and will schedule more extensive reconstruction work at a later date.
Safe driving tips, pothole patching videos and other useful information on potholes is also available on VDOT's website at http://www.virginiadot.org/info/faq-potholes.asp.