Pothole causes major headaches on I-95 in Port Richmond

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Crews worked to fix a pothole on I-95 in Port Richmond. (WPVI)

PennDOT spent the day Thursday making repairs to a pothole on I-95 that caused more than just headaches for a handful of commuters.

The pothole wreaked havoc on the northbound side of the highway at the Girard Avenue exit Wednesday night. Between 10 and 11 p.m. police were notified that at least 13 tires were flattened by the 2-foot x 3-foot pothole, generated by the heavy rain.

The same pothole was patched up just two weeks ago.

Gene Blaum of PennDOT says, "We're still getting precipitation. It may not be snow, but just like the heavy rains yesterday. And now we're going to go into the temperatures above freezing during the day and below freezing at night, and it's that freeze/thaw cycle that causes the substructure of the road base to fracture, and then to develop into holes."

PennDOT put in emergency patching shortly after midnight Thursday. And later in the day treated the hole with asphalt to keep a reasonable traffic flow for the evening rush hour.

On Friday night this section of I-95 will be shutdown at 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. Saturday to lay down a permanent concrete patch.

Blaum explains, "Once we get the work done, the concrete can take two to three hours to cure."

The pothole devastation from the last two winters was astonishing. This year PennDOT says the milder winter has not taken nearly the same kind of toll on the main highways.

Blaum tells us, "We've done a considerable amount of resurfacing in the past two years thanks primarily to Act 89, Pennsylvania's transportation plan. We also did $14 million worth of emergency patching work last year because of the amount of structural deterioration in the pavements."

So again, the northbound lanes of I-95 at the Girard Avenue exit will have two of three lanes shutdown Friday night until Saturday morning as permanent repairs are made to the nuisance pothole.
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