WVDOT Pushing Forward on ‘Operation R.I.P. Potholes’

Despite the impact of a major winter storm, the West Virginia Department of Transportation said its road crews continue to push forward with an effort to patch potholes on roadways statewide.

[Above photo by WVDOT]

“Our major focus this time of year is trying to address the potholes causing the greatest amount of danger for our drivers,” said Joe Pack, WVDOT’s chief engineer of district operations, in a statement. “Our goal is to get out in front of the major issues so we can make repairs in a timely fashion, so it doesn’t impact the drivers.”

Image by WVDOT

Since WVDOT began “Operation R.I.P. Potholes” on January 30, the agency said its crews have patched at least 10,000 potholes with 2,856 tons of hot mix asphalt along 2,636 miles of roadway.

Pack said potholes form when water gets into cracks in roadways, freezes, and then thaws. A recent freeze/thaw cycle of snow and very cold temperatures, followed by warm temperatures and rain, has wreaked havoc on West Virginia roads, he noted – with WVDOT road crews making temporary pothole repairs with cold asphalt throughout the winter.

However, a stretch of warm weather in late January allowed three asphalt plants to begin operation, which meant WVDOT could get a jump on pothole patching.

In areas where hot mix is still not available, such as areas where the asphalt plants themselves are down for winter maintenance, WVDOT said its crews will be out in full force patching with temporary methods to provide a smoother ride for motorists.

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