AAA predicts ‘banner year’ for pothole damage

WASHINGTON — A familiar pattern emerged in 2016 — snow, ice, rain — putting in place all the necessary ingredients for lots and lots of potholes.

“We expect this to be a banner year for potholes and a record year for vehicle damage because of potholes,” says AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend.

“These numbers will continue to increase.”

Drivers have been dodging big craters in the roadways, and transportation agencies across the area urge residents to report problematic areas.

Early Tuesday morning, many roadways were covered with sheets of ice. As they thawed, more potholes emerged.

“The road surface is taking a beating with the changing weather conditions and the plowing operations,” says Pete Piringer with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue. “This is a ripe condition for potholes.”

One area that proved problematic during the morning rush hour was a stretch of the Capital Beltway between Connecticut and Georgia avenues. There was a major pothole-related crash there in the 7 a.m. hour involving more than half-a-dozen vehicles. Crews repaired the pothole Tuesday morning.

There were no serious injuries but drivers who got caught up in the incident are dealing with “a significant amount of property damage,” says Piringer.

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