Pothole complaints down in D.C.

Potholes on the Beltway are notorious for causing flat tires. (WTOP File Photo/Kristi King)

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – One of the many warm weather perks is apparently a smoother ride.

Pothole complaints this winter are way down in the Washington region.

The same scenario is playing out across the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest during what has been one of the mildest winters on record.

The D.C. Department of Transportation reports a 22 percent drop in the overall number of service requests for pothole repairs. That breaks down to about 5.8 repair requests per day, compared with 7.6 daily service requests the previous year.

Potholes are created when moisture seeps into the road surface, freezes and then expands to crack the pavement. With less precipitation and warmer conditions, this winter simply did not supply the needed the conditions for multiple potholes.

In turn, according to a news release from AAA Mid-Atlantic, cities are getting hit with fewer damage claims filed by drivers who plunge into their potholes.

The District of Columbia usually kicks off its month-long “Potholepalooza” campaign in mid-March when most of the road repairs take place.

While there will likely be less road work going on this spring to repair potholes, AAA says drivers who unexpectedly dive into a pothole should look for certain damage to their vehicles.

  1. Inspect tires
  2. Check suspension
  3. Watch for potholes ahead
  4. Slow down
  5. Watch for puddles that may be deeper
  6. Check alignment
  7. Listen for new noises/vehicle vibrations

In a decidedly wishful tone, AAA hints cities and towns could use their leftover stash from winter budgets for projects and repairs this spring.

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