Potholes popping up after winter storms


HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – A warning from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) as the snow clears. Watch out for potholes.

Pressure from packed snow and ice in the cracks of the road can cause new ones to form. This is a common occurrence after winter storms.

10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox went out with a Virginia Beach city pothole crew today, dedicated to responding to complaints. Andy was there before, during and after the potholes were repaired.

Residents Robert and Angela Johnson told Fox they reported potholes in their area. “We called the city to come out here and fix it up.  I think they are going to be out here,” Robert said.

“I noticed the potholes too.  The gravel’s coming out and it’s bad. Oh, look! They are out here,” resident Dawn Meads says to Fox as the pothole repair crew suddenly pulls up in front of her car.

Out of repair truck jump, city workers Isiah Robinson, Wanda  Hill, and Tyrone Hall.

The first thing Robinson does is start sweeping the pothole getting all the stone debris out.  Then, the tar gets put down to act as the glue that will hold the asphalt in the hole to fill it up..

Next, asphalt is poured down into the pothole, which Robinson says is kept at 360 degrees.

The crew worked diligently to make sure the asphalt was in a even layer, not wanting to create more bumps in the road.

How to report a pothole

A good thing to remember – reporting a pothole is your responsibility, if you want it to be fixed. To report a pothole on a state-maintained roadway, which encompasses most highways and interstates, check out the Virginia Department of Transportation’s website.

To report a pothole on a state-maintained road in North Carolina, call NCDOT at 1 (877) 368-4968. You can also contact NCDOT online at http://www.ncdot.gov/.

To report a pothole on a city-maintained roadway, find the info for your city below:

  • Chesapeake: You can report a pothole here in the City of Chesapeake. Or call (757) 382-CITY.
  • Hampton: If you need to report a pothole in Hampton, call the city’s Customer Call Center at 311 or (757) 727-8311 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week. You can also get answers to frequently asked questions on the city website.
  • Newport News: To report a pothole in Newport News call (757) 933-2311.
  • Norfolk: Call the Norfolk Cares Center at (757) 664-6510. Or you can  fill out the report a pothole form on the city website.
  • Portsmouth: Report a pothole by calling the Public Works Department at (757) 393-8666 or via this online form.
  • Suffolk: Go to the Suffolk Citizen Connections section of the city’s website to report a pothole.
  • Virginia Beach: Click here to fill out the form to report a pothole. You can also email VB311@vbgov.com. Try to provide the specific address of the pothole or the two cross streets.

Can I File a Claim for Damage to My Vehicle?

If you hit a pothole while driving and it damages your vehicle, VDOT says you have a legal right to submit a damage claim.

Claims are investigated case-by-case. Investigators review the circumstances, the type and location of the pothole, if VDOT had been previously notified of the issue, and if crews had been given a reasonable amount of time to repair the pothole.

If you have questions about damage claims, contact VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623).

Why Do So Many Potholes Occur in the Spring?

Spring temperatures warm the cold pavement, melting and evaporating ice. This creates air pockets that can eventually cause the pavement to break up. A winter of heavy snow or rain and several freeze-thaw cycles can mean a big pothole season ahead.

Why don’t some pothole repairs last long?

There are several reasons why VDOT says a newly filled pothole may reopen:

  • When conditions are cold or wet, the material used to patch potholes doesn’t stick as well to the surrounding pavement as when conditions are dry and warm.
  • During winter months, asphalt plants are closed and hot asphalt is not available until spring. In the meantime, we typically use a material called “cold mix,” which isn’t always as durable.
  • If the cause of the pothole is not corrected, i. e. water getting under the pavement, pothole patches may fail, or more potholes may form. The long-term solution is to repair and repave the road.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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