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Temperature partly to blame for delayed pothole repair

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- It's open season--on cars that is, as potholes open in the asphalt all around metro-Richmond.

"It is tragic - we hit this pothole earlier today, our tools were flying, we were flying," Darius Kelly said while discussing the pothole conditions on Ellwood Avenue.

Richmond Public Works spokesman Sharon North said that while the city repairs roads all year long, it is more costly to repair potholes in the winter.

"We rely heavily on the asphalt plants and a lot of the time they are closed this time of year because the temperature has to be above 32 degrees and sometimes considerably above that for plants to open," North said.

Because of the lack of asphalt, cities like Richmond are forced to repair potholes with another material, a more costly material.

"A fifty pound bag is like $9.45 cents. So six bags of that is what we would pay for one ton of asphalt," North added.

The change in costs doesn't mean the city is ignoring potholes, but it does mean more pothole repairs are likely to be done in the spring.

For Thurston Spring Service, a repair shop in South Richmond, supervisor Audrey Thurston said drivers should be more vigilant during pothole season. His shop fixes a car at least once a day because of either a flat tire or a larger problem, due to potholes.

"One large pothole could easily through the alignment off," Thurston said.

Thurston suggested that drivers seek out a specialist if they notice a shaking in their steering wheel.

If damage is caused by a pothole in the city of Richmond  residents are asked to contact the City Attorney for claim information, at 646-7940.

City residents can report potholes by clicking here. 

1 Comment

  • Fred Plaisted

    Thanks for posting this piece. A Grove Avenue pothole tore my tires and rims last winter resulting in a $3,000 repair. After filing a claim with the City’s insurance agency, I was told that following an investigation, unless the pothole had been previously reported and documented, the insurance would not cover damages.

    Bottom line, if you see a pothole, report using the link attached. You may be helping fellow residents benefit from the insurance the City pays for. You may also report to Richmond City Police. The insurance agency told me they blamed the local police who are charged with patrolling public streets and reporting potholes.

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