Pothole Problems Popping Up Early This Year

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 01/14 2014 06:25PM

Updated 01/14 2014 06:31PM

COLCHESTER, Vt. -If you have driven lately you've probably noticed more potholes and some are pretty big.
It's not just costing drivers whose cars might be damaged; it's also impacting the budget for road crews.
The weather over the last few weeks has been perfect for creating potholes.
And this year crews are seeing larger potholes earlier in the season.

“It’s Vermont and it’s winter,” said Kate Flippin. 
Although Flippin lives in Huntington, she says she drives into Essex or Burlington to run errands.
And lately she says the roads have been in rough shape. 
“A lot of potholes, a lot of heaves in places where you need to slow down,” said Flippin.
And slowing down is key to prevent damage to your car.
David Blackmore with VTrans says so far this winter they're receiving more calls than normal when it comes to potholes - almost 50 a week.
People are calling to report holes and to file claims that those potholes damaged their car.
On Tuesday crews were out repairing problem areas including this stretch of Rt. 7 in Colchester
“For an average size hole you are talking a couple hundred pounds of stuff. In a stretch like this we'll probably put down about 3-4 ton today- of coal patch,” said Mark Meumier, a Transportation Maintenance Supervisor with VTrans.
That’s just a temporary fix until they can get back out in the summer time and do a more permanent job.
“During the summer time we'll use actual asphalt,” said Meumier.
Fixing potholes costs a lot of money.
From July 2011 through July 2012 VTtrans spent about $2.6 million dollars repairing pot holes.
In the last six months they’ve already spent more than half of that- $1.4 million dollars.
A surprising cost since most of the yearly budget is spent in the spring and summer permanently fixing potholes.
“Pretty much we have to be out there every day,” said Meumier.

Blackmore says he's receiving a lot of calls with people reporting tire and rim damage because of potholes. Depending on the case the state might pay for car repairs.

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