PennDOT working to fix pothole problems

PHILADELPHIA - April 1, 2014

They are an ominous presence on many busy stretches of roadway, and as warmer weather arrives, crews are working to get rid of them.

The weather has been giving commuters a one-two punch with the brutal cold and snow which help create the potholes, and then the overnight freezing and soaking rains which wash away the temporary patches.

Commuters say it is enough to take the joy out of driving to work.

But everyone seems to have a pothole story or a pothole strategy.

"I was just getting on the 76 ramp at City Line Avenue and hit a pothole and got a flat tire," said Allyse Regan.

"You just gotta slow down and take it easy to get over them. That's about all you can do," said JP O'Hagan.

The reason why this year's pothole repair efforts have that "two steps forward, one step back" feel is because Mother Nature simply refuses the play along.

"Just last Wednesday we had temperatures in the overnight dip into the low 20's, again it is that freeze/thaw cycle, and that did away with some of the temporary patches that had been holding," explained Gene Blaum, PennDOT.

It has gotten to the point where municipal officials are making sure they are not on the receiving end of undue criticism.

Earlier Tuesday, Mayor Nutter tweeted this reminder, "City Ave and all of Broad Street or state roads are PennDOT's responsibility for fixing potholes, not the city. Please contact 1(800) FIX ROAD."

PennDOT spokesperson Gene Blaum says that's true.

"Not every street in Philadelphia is city maintain, like Chestnut Street, market street, Germantown Avenue, Torresdale Avenue, those are just some examples of state highways that are part of the city's street system," said Blaum.

So the message for commuters is that PennDOT and municipal crews are fully aware of the situation.

So be patient, and make sure your spare tire is fully inflated.

"We've made progress obviously but there is a long way to go," said Blaum. "We are going to be working on potholes through the month of April and I expect into the month of May."

PennDot says they are transitioning over from the temporary cold patches to the permanent hot asphalt patches with weather permitting.

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