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State plans ‘pothole blitz’ to address road damage

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Division of Highways is readying a multimillion-dollar plan to mend the plague of potholes now pitting state roads.

The winter snow removal and ice control season always leads to wear and tear on state roads. But the successive heavy winter storms this year have taken a harsh toll on roads already suffering from inadequate funding.

“These potholes are the worst our maintenance crews have seen in years,” said Carrie Bly, Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

In early February, Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox met with senior officials in the state’s 10 highways districts to hash out a strategy to patch the pothole problem.

“Internally, we’ve called it a pothole blitz,” Bly said. “It’s our pothole plan of attack.”

Bly said officials want to repair the potholes as quickly as possible.

However, there’s one factor that’s beyond their control: the weather.

“For this to work, we need temperatures in the 40s and 50s consistently, otherwise it’s just a waste of time to do it,” Bly said.

Workers finally caught a break on Thursday when temperatures broke into the 50s for many parts of the state. Crews fanned out to conduct spot repairs on some of the worst potholes on heavily trafficked roads.

“They’re going out to the worst of the worst,” Bly said. “The tire-busting potholes are the concentration right now.”

But those spot repairs were just temporary patches…

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