Pesky potholes on the rise with warm temperatures
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With warm weather in the forecast, expect to notice more potholes across Central Virginia.
Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Bethanie Glover said the repeated freeze, thaw cycle and traffic can cause the pavement to deteriorate.
"They're difficult," said Mike Marshall, of Chester. "Sometimes you hit them and you can't avoid it."
It's an issue that affects anyone who drives in Central Virginia.
So far this year, Richmond City Public Works has repaired 5,000 potholes, spokeswoman Sharon North said.
That number is only expected to increase as the spring weather continues.
"The thing that goes through my mind before a pot hole is 'oh my God!'" said Olga Dance.
On average, the city of Richmond repairs about 18,000 potholes annually. North said in 2017, crews surpassed that number, filling 25,000.
Henrico County maintains all of its secondary roads. These include neighborhood streets and other lower-traffic roads, spokesman Will Jones said.
In total, the county's public works maintains about 3,500 lane miles of road.
Jones said since July 1, 2017, nearly 11,000 potholes have been patched.
Henrico and Arlington Counties are the only counties in Virginia with responsibility for road maintenance, Jones said.
In Henrico, VDOT maintains roads that are designated as interstate roads (ie: Interstates 64 and 95), US highways (ie: West Broad Street, Williamsburg Road), or state primary routes (ie: Patterson Avenue, New Market Road).
"Any moisture that has had the chance to soak into the pavement and freeze and thaw multiple times will cause more potholes," Glover said.
How are these potholes affecting your wallet? In Henrico, your taxes go towards road maintenance.
In 2017, the county spent more than $361,000 on pothole patches; 2016, more than $367,200; 2015, more than $350,500.
So far for the 2018 calendar year, more than $91,000 has been spent.
VDOT doesn't break down specifically how much is spent on potholes, but it would fall under road maintenance which is budgeted at more than $2 billion statewide.
"We're constantly patching potholes as we see them, or as we receive reports from our customer service center," Glover said. "It's a year-round effort. We're constantly on the move."
As for Richmond, NBC12 asked North how much was budgeted for road maintenance. She wasn't able to provide that number immediately.
Meanwhile, drivers are doing what they can to avoid damaging their cars.
"I had a friend who had to have a front axle replaced years ago," Marshall said.
If a pothole damages your car, officials say you can file a claim as follows:
- City of Richmond: contact the city public works department
- Henrico County (secondary roads): contact the city public works department
- Any state roads not maintained by local cities/towns: contact VDOT
For more information on reporting a pothole, click here.
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