Highway Crews Transition from Plowing Snow to Pothole Patching

BALTIMORE (Feb. 22, 2010) – Along with residual salt and mounds of snow near state routes, another blizzard byproduct is the emergence of potholes! Now that Old Man Winter has brought more than three feet of snow in the last six weeks, it has taken its toll on Maryland roadways. Through successive freeze thaw cycles, more potholes are expected over the next few weeks.

The number one priority of the State Highway Administration (SHA) is to provide safe roadways to the traveling public. SHA crews maintain nearly 17,000 lane miles, which includes non-tolled numbered routes in Maryland’s 23 counties. As crews work diligently to resurface roads, repair potholes and preserve our valuable road system, motorists should continue to be alert for orange cones, barrels and arrow boards. Teams of two to four personnel work to fill potholes along state routes. Be prepared for a lane closure, or slow/stopped traffic as a result of snow removal or pothole patching.

“With our mobile work zones, we need motorists and pedestrians to be especially attentive,” said SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen. “SHA will continue pavement repairs over the next several weeks and asks for your patience and help identifying potholes.”

With three massive winter storms since mid-December, State Highway Administration (SHA) crews have worked for the past 25 days straight pushing snow, spreading salt and responding to the effects of winter weather. Potholes are created when moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands, thaws, and then weakens the pavement. Traffic loosens the pavement even more, and it eventually crumbles and pops out.

During winter months, SHA uses temporary “cold patch” until warmer weather permits permanent repairs. In FY 2009, SHA’s statewide expenditures for pothole patching were $2.4 million.

To assist crews in locating and repairing potholes that motorists encounter, citizens may report a pothole by visiting roads.maryland.gov, clicking on “Report Litter or Pothole” and completing the service request form.

Source: Maryland SHA

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