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Weather Causing Spike in Potholes on Central VA Roads - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Weather Causing Spike in Potholes on Central VA Roads

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It's pothole season – and central Virginia drivers can thank the cold temperatures for the excess of potholes on area roads.

Because the ground is so cold, it is difficult for Virginia Department of Transportation crews to fill the holes. Instead they have to do more of a quick fix, which just temporarily patches them.

Warmer temperatures at the end of this week, especially after the snow we have had lately, is a recipe for potholes. The moisture seeps into the pavement and freezes and expands, and then when the weather warms up - like it did Friday - that ice thaws. This weakens the pavement and loosens it up. Eventually, it crumbles and pops out.

In the past two weeks VDOT crews have patched up 150 potholes on roads in Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties.

"It's easy for alignment to pinch tires and things like that when you're pounding in potholes all the time,” said Dale Blue, a driver.

Crews at Bob's Wheel Alignment have been hard at work patching tires damaged by potholes. Service manager at Bob’s Todd Archer says the little pits in the road can cause major damage.

"They can bend rims, flatten tires, they can do suspension damage, struts, can bend tie rods and suspension components,” said Archer.

Archer says avoiding potholes is the best way to avoid damage, but driving over them slowly helps too.

Because asphalt plants are closed during the winter, a hot asphalt solution isn't available to fill the pot holes, so VDOT crews can only use what they call a "cold mix," which doesn't hold up as well. Once it warms up, they will use the hot asphalt mix to treat the potholes.
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