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As temperatures fall, DOH crews can’t repair roads using hot mix asphalt

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The Division of Highways is getting ready to transition its work as the weather gets colder.

Hot mix asphalt will soon go into hibernation until the spring. Crews use the hot mix to fix potholes and pave roads, but as the name says, hot mix is only available essentially during warmer weather.

During the cold winter months, potholes get fixed with a temporary mix.

Earl Gaskins with the DOH explains the protocol for hot mix.

“Once the base temperature of the ground temperature gets below 40 degrees we can no longer place hot mix and at that point we go into what’s called a cold patch which is a very temporary fix. It doesn’t bond as much as hot mix but it does fill the holes,” said Earl Gaskins, maintenance assistant for Doddridge and Harrison counties.

So the DOH enters a new season of work around this time of year, mainly focusing on snow removal and ice control.

Gaskins said they will keep paving as long as the asphalt plants stay open but they’re now changing gears and getting ready for the winter season.

The DOH has salt ready and has tested all the routes and machinery.

There is another substance that is also put on the roads that you might see.

Brine is applied to the roads as a liquid and Gaskins said people often think crews are putting water on the roads when its actually this treatment. It takes 3 times more salt to treat a road than it does using brine.

Starting November 15, DOH workers will work 2 shifts, day and night, so that employees can be around 24 hours in the case that a winter event does happen. 

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