Road Patrol: WVDOH’s fight against potholes in the mountain state

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Trying to prevent potholes is not uncommon for the West Virginia Division of Highways, but now they are trying to focus more by adding additional maintenance efforts.

“With our climate and our mountains terrain that we have on our roads is a little more difficult to maintain,” said West Virginia Division of Highways Engineer Alan Reed.

Reed said that water is a big issue in creating potholes no matter if the road is paved or not. He explained that when the water stands on the road, it cannot dry out, and it eventually saturates into whatever material is on the road.

“If you’re on a hillside, you’re really off better to some degree in that respect because you have somewhere for the water to go,” said Reed

Fixing roads in West Virginia is a year-round process, but the DOH said they have a core maintenance plan. They do their core maintenance plan from March until November, including ditching, drainage, and patching. Reed stated those activities they must do on an ongoing basis to keep W.Va. roads in good shape.

In the past few years, Reed explained that the governor had given the DOH many opportunities to do extra projects.

“We have additional funding and been able to concentrate more on maintaining our roads, described Reed. “We’re putting forth a big push and big effort on maintenance because we believe we need to maintain what we have.”

The DOH is attempting to help with potholes by doing canopy cutting from November until March; they also plan an aggressive campaign to patch the potholes before the summer paving season.

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