RALEIGH, N.C. (WAVY) — It’s pothole season, but an especially cold, wet winter has caused more cavities in North Carolina roadways than is usual.
“Potholes are common during the winter months when moisture that seeps into cracks in the pavement gets in between the layers of asphalt, freezes, expands and then thaws,” explained NCDOT’s Chief Engineer Mike Holder. “When the ice expands, it causes the cracks to widen and the asphalt layer to rise. Traffic then loosens the pavement, which eventually creates a pothole.”
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has patching crews out in full force, attacking potholes to keep drivers safe, but they need your help. NCDOT is asking drivers to be on the lookout for potholes and report them so they can be fixed quickly.
To report a pothole on a state-maintained road, call NCDOT at 1-877-368-4968. You can also contact NCDOT online at www.ncdot.gov/contact — click “County Contacts” on the left of your screen, then choose the county where you saw the pothole.
“To help our crews locate the pothole, be sure to provide as much information as possible about [the pothole's] location, including the city or county, road name, nearest intersection, which lane the pothole is in, and the size and depth of the pothole,” said Nicole Meister with NCDOT.
To report a pothole on a road not maintained by NCDOT, contact the municipality the pothole is located in.
“We do ask that motorists be patient with road crews,” Holder added. “They will fill the potholes as quickly as they can, but will first address the ones that are the greatest safety concerns.”
AAA offers the following tips when encountering a pothole:
- Avoid swerving — Swerving can cause loss of vehicle control;
- Slow down — Carefully avoid impact with potholes. If a pothole can’t be avoided slow down. Hitting a pothole at a high speed increases the chance of damage to the vehicle, and losing control;
- Roll through — Rolling through the pothole is better than braking rapidly;
- Properly inflate tires – Over-inflated and under-inflated tires increase risk of tire and wheel damage; and avoid puddles that may conceal a deep pothole.