VDOT Battling Pothole Problem
Lynchburg, VA - Pothole problems? In just a few weeks, V-DOT will launch its spring pothole blitz. The tradition takes place every year, after the last snowfall.
They're bumpy. Jerky. Pesky problems.
In the battle against potholes, Brightwell's Mill Road in Madison Heights is on the front line.
"This is the weapon of choice today," VDOT worker, Larry Stalling said, holding a shovel.
And while a new report by the American Society of Civil engineers may be good for Stalling's job security, it found nearly half of Virginia's roads are of poor or mediocre quality.
The report also found it costs the average driver $250 dollars a year in vehicle repairs, something Vernitta Rose knows well.
"I know that I've had to go have my car aligned due to the potholes," Rose said, from behind the wheel of her green caravan.
The governor blames insufficient funding for the state's crumbling infrastructure, and passed one of the largest transportation bills last session to help out.
But here in Lynchburg, Tim Wiles says VDOT crews will work overtime and on weekends to live up to its motto: people first, potholes second.
"We actually are not funded for potholes. Instead we're funded for pavement repairs of all kinds," Wiles explained.
He estimates they spent $1 to $2 million dollars a year patching up potholes in Lynchburg and the nine surrounding counties.
Fortunately, there hasn't been as much freezing and thawing this winter, which means fewer potholes.
But for some drivers, it's still a bumpy ride home.
"Please fix our roads permanently. So, we can have nice roads to drive our cars," Rose pleaded.