Potholes Have Vtrans Struggling to Keep Up

By FOX44/ABC22 News

Published 02/25 2014 09:11PM

Updated 02/25 2014 09:52PM

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt- On Route 15 in Essex Junction and across the state, potholes seem to be taking over the roads.  This year, some say they are seeing more of the road nuisances than in the past.

"There definitely seems to be more potholes," says Bethany True.  "Maybe because it's been so cold, but I don't know why."

True is half correct.  Vermont Agency of Transportation's David Blackmore says intense cold paired with warmer temperatures are to blame.  This winter, that has happened more than once.  Repairing the resulting potholes has put a strain on the agency's wallet.

"An average winter maintenance budget is $20 million," says Blackmore.  "To date, we're at about $21 million, so, is it straining our budget?  Absolutely."
Blackmore says new ones are not necessarily the issue.  He says repaired ones are most likely what drivers are seeing on the roads this wnter.  Along with fluxuating temperatures, he says plowing during snow storms is also to blame.

"Everytime you have to plow and you're dragging a plow over where you just patched, more than likely it's going to strain that patch and it's going to pop out again."

Still, some people say they recognize that Vtrans is doing its job.

"I see them come out and try to fill some of the potholes here in Milton," says Lionel Mathieu.

Others say in this region, potholes come with the territory.

"I don't really have a problem with them," says Taylor Wensley.  "I just try to avoid them.

Blackmore says if a driver suffers damages to his or her vehicle due to a pothole on a state road, Vtrans will assess whether the driver needs to be reimbursed.

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