The Washington Times-Herald

January 3, 2014

'Tis the season ... for potholes

By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Change in temperature, paired with snow and excessive rain have caused potholes to appear on local roadways. However, road crews haven't seen an increase in the amount of holes as of yet but the frigid temperatures forecasted for early next week could mean many new potholes will form.

Washington Street Department Superintendent Ernie Evans said his crews were out a few days last week filling holes with cold mix.

"We start with the potholes that people have called in about and the city bus drivers help let us know where the holes are so we can get to work them," said Evans."But we can't do anything right now with the snow and the temperature. Our crews are out right now trying to treat the streets. As soon as the weather clears, we'll go back to working on the potholes."

Last month's snow followed by heavy rain fall delayed street crews from getting as many holes filled as they had hoped. "The early snow hurt us then we had that golly washer of rain right after that," said Evans. "If we have the same thing when this snow starts to melt, we'll have another mess."

Potholes form when the streets continually thaw and refreeze. Evans said that snow plows and the salt used to melt the snow also cause problems on the roads.

In addition to stalling the filling of potholes with cold mix, Evans said that leaf pick-up has been postponed but will continue as soon as the snow has melted from the leaves. "We aren't done yet. The weather just keeps slowing things down. At this rate, we may still be raking up leaves in March," said Evans.

Phil Cornelius, county highway department supervisor, said his crews have also been out filling the potholes. "We haven't seen an increase in the amount of potholes just yet. On gravel, when the weather is like this, there are going to be problems but luckily, our asphalt roads are in pretty good shape," said Cornelius. "The more times this freezes and refreezes, the worse it's going to be for us on all the roads."

Both Evans and Cornelius said members of the public are welcome to report potholes. For potholes within the city limits, Evans should be contacted at 254-4564. Potholes within the county can be reported to Cornelius via phone at 444-5789 or via the county website, and clicking on the highway department tab.