The pothole prognosis for spring 2018 is not pretty, AAA says

WASHINGTON — With January temperatures ranging from the single digits to near 70 degrees, the pothole prognosis is not pretty.

Potholes are cropping up unusually early across the metro area, according AAA Mid-Atlantic. The recent temperature swings have created conditions that are “perfect for forming and weaponizing potholes,” said a Thursday news release.

On Wednesday, the National Park Service was forced to close 2 1/2 miles of the Clara Barton Parkway for nearly 12 hours so it could do emergency repairs. Several drivers reported vehicle damage after striking the menacing craters.

AAA estimates that drivers paid an average of $300 each to repair pothole-related damages last year. According to their calculations, one in five drivers reported pothole damage within the past five years.

Thousands of potholes have been eradicated since the inception of the District’s famous “Potholepalooza” campaign. At least 22,212 potholes met their fate last year, and more than 75,000 were expelled in 2016, according to the District Department of Transportation.

In an attempt to avoid pothole problems, AAA urges drivers to keep a close eye on traffic downstream, noting that swerving and slowing can be an indication that potholes are lurking in the distance.

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Dave Dildine

A native to the Washington area, Dave Dildine is no stranger to the region's complex traffic and weather patterns. Dave joined WTOP in 2010 when the station launched its very own in-house traffic service. You can hear him "on the 8s and when it breaks" from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

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