Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 8, 2014

Road crews to begin cold patching potholes

PRINCETON — Local road crews will be among the many in the state who will be participating in a multimillion-dollar effort to fix the thousands of potholes in roads across West Virginia.

Multiple periods of severe cold followed by thawing, plus the impact of road salt and other chemicals used to clear highways of ice and snow, have inflicted thousands of potholes on West Virginia’s roadways.

“These potholes are the worst our maintenance crews have seen in years,” Department of Highways spokeswoman Carrie Bly told the Associated Press.

Tom Camden, supervisor of West Virginia Department of Highways District 10, which includes Mercer and McDowell counties, said recently that the winter has taken “quite a toll” on local roads. Days with temperatures in the teens were followed by ones with temperatures in the 50s.

Asphalt plants usually do not open until April. At District 10, road crews are working on temporary repairs with a “cold mix” designed to fill potholes until more permanent repairs with fresh asphalt are possible, Camden told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph in late February when temperatures began to warm up.

Southern West Virginia residents who want to report a pothole problem can call 304-425-2155. They will be directed to the state DOH facility in their county, Camden stated.

The state has spent an average of $18 million annually on pothole repair in the last three years. Approximately $9 million has been spent already on the program during the fiscal year, which started on July 1, 2013, and officials are diverting another $12 million for fixing potholes.

Bly said the state’s crews are focusing on the “worst of the worst” potholes.

“The tire-busting potholes are the concentration right now,” she stated.

State officials have been speaking with asphalt companies in an effort to get them to open sooner this year.

They were optimistic about convincing some facilities to open sometime in March, according to the Associated Press.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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