A lot of holes to fill

Published 5:29 pm Saturday, March 7, 2015

Now that the snow and ice are gone from most Suffolk roadways, drivers are experiencing the bone-jarring and potentially vehicle-damaging vestiges of the city’s battle with Mother Nature: potholes.

Drivers would be hard pressed to find a road in Suffolk that didn’t take a beating from multiple rounds of snow, ice, road chemicals and plows this season. Even the city’s best roads have paid the price.

Suffolk road crews have been out in force during the past week, patching, filling and repairing the holes left behind. Crews treated 111 potholes just on Monday and Tuesday, using almost 14 tons of asphalt in the process, according to city officials. They expected to make a big push on the repair process this weekend, taking advantage of temperatures in the 50s to move from larger to smaller holes and from primary to secondary roads and, eventually, into neighborhoods and subdivisions.

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Potholes develop when water gets into the asphalt through weak spots or small cracks, expands and freezes, then melts, weakening the pavement. Vehicles driving over the weak spot break up the pavement and kick it out piece by piece.

You can help with the process by reporting potholes you encounter on your daily commute. To do so, visit www.suffolkva.us and click on the “Report Roadway Issues” button on the city’s homepage. To report a pothole on Interstate 664, citizens can call the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD.

Things are slowly starting to get back to normal in Suffolk after long weeks of bitter weather. Being able to drive to work and back home without navigating a slalom course of vehicle-rattling potholes will make a big difference. Give those road crews a wide berth. They’ve got a lot of work to do, and they deserve to do it as safely as possible.