By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The snow is melting, but that’s only exposing more gaping potholes throughout the region.
You hear KYW Newsradio’s morning traffic reporter, Sam Clover, helping drivers deal with it every day during pothole season:
“Two right lanes are blocked, looks like a major pothole up ahead…”
And you see them just about everywhere you look.
“Crater size — almost crater size to me it was, and it actually was going across the whole street,” said one woman who spotted a huge pothole in West Philadelphia. She said she was glad to be driving an SUV.
“I’m up higher above the ground, so it helps a lot,” she said. “Because some of the potholes are very, very deep.”
Penndot says there are 40 pothole crews out in the five-county area of Greater Philadelphia, and they’re patching them as fast as they can while the weather is dry.
KYW’s Steve Tawa reports that according to Mayor Nutter, pothole season usually starts in March, but this winter — already our third snowiest ever — has produced a bumper crop of potholes (see related story).
“Three thousand, nine hundred seventy-five potholes have already been filled this year,” the mayor said today. “Unfortunately, you may have run into one that we missed. We’re working on it.”
Last year, up until this point, city crews had filled only 1,540 potholes. AAA Fleet Supervisor Rick Martin adds, “Currently about 6,200 calls for flat tire incidents, prior year we were at about 4,500.”
The mayor says due to the storms and now the big melt, to be followed by more colder weather expected next week, the repeated freeze-thaw cycles are introducing more moisture into the road, damaging the material underneath, causing yet more potholes.
“With 20 crews working, we can fill about 750-plus potholes a day,” Nutter said.
In case you were wondering, Philadelphia streets commissioner David Perri says they use a standard hot-mix asphalt for repairs, and a piece of equipment called a “pothole patcher” that uses asphaltic cement and sand with an emulsion mixture.
To report a pothole on a Pennsylvania state road, call 1-800-FIX-ROAD. In Philadelphia, you can report them at potholes.phila.gov or by calling the city’s 311 hotline.
In Camden County, NJ, call 856-566-2980 (see related story).
And a link to all of New Jersey’s county pothole hotlines is here: www.state.nj.us/transportation.