Weather will contribute to pothole plague | RecordCourier.com

Weather will contribute to pothole plague

Staff Reports

With two months of extreme freeze-thaw cycles and above average moisture in Douglas County, many roads have experienced an increase in potholes.

County spokeswoman Melissa Blosser cited Jacks Valley Road and Waterloo Lane as two in particular that have been seriously impacted.

"Furthermore, the recent flooding has caused shoulder erosion on areas of Genoa Lane, Mottsville Lane, and Centerville Lane," she said. "Douglas County is encouraging residents to drive with precaution especially when driving over roads covered in water."

Blosser said freeze-thaw temperatures through the winter cause pavement cracks and previously filled potholes to break apart and raise, allowing water to enter the sub-pavement.

"The older paved roads where temperatures frequently fluctuate above and below 32 degrees can be particularly affected," she said. "Snow and flooding conditions, heavy trucks and snow plows then break away the raised areas causing the pot holes."

Flood cleanup and repair and snow removal have been the main focus for county road crews this week, she said.

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"Pothole repair will start as soon as possible on all county roads depending on several factors including severity, weather and work load priority," she said.

Here's what you can do to avoid pothole damage to your car:

■ Make sure your tires are properly inflated.

■ Leave plenty of room in front of your vehicle so you have time to safely avoid potholes and crashes.

■ If you cannot avoid hitting a pothole, slow down instead of braking as you approach a pothole. Braking actually causes more damage in a pothole situation.

■ When driving over a pothole hold the steering wheel firmly to maintain control of your vehicle.

■ Use caution and proceed slowly when driving over a puddle or through the snow, which may be hiding deep potholes.

"We encourage residents to monitor their speed and watch for unsafe driving conditions," she said. "Please use caution and follow flagger's instructions during the repair work zone."

Jacks Valley Road is scheduled to be fully reconstructed in late spring between Genoa Lane and the Upper James Canyon Loop.