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Residents Say Bridge Road In Charleston Pothole Obstacle Course

Reported: Mar. 18, 2014 11:56 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 19, 2014 8:35 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.VA. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) - Each time we get a big freeze and thaw, the potholes seem to get bigger and bigger. We found one area in particular, where neighbors told us, the potholes are so cavernous, someone's going to end-up in a serious accident.

Road crews across the city and state took advantage of a fairly mild Tuesday, to get a jump on some of the biggest offenders. But up along Bridge Road, there's a dangerous game of “chicken” going on, just to avoid the massive potholes.

"Thump, thump, thump!," laughed Debbie Stevens, who told us, it’s a nightly noise, which she is growing weary of hearing. The constant thumping sound of cars either barreling through, or slowing down and creeping past, to avoid the car-length craters, at the intersection of Bridge and Tudor roads.

"It doesn't even look like a paved road, it looks like a dirt road," said Stevens wryly. "So, when I am lying in bed, and I hear that, thump, thump, thump, or when my son's dog is here and he hears the thump, thump, thump!"

Which Stevens said makes for a long night for the whole family!

How about the truck we saw, racing over to the left lane, but barely any room to get back over to the right, before cresting the hill.

"Probably not the smartest thing to do!," said Michael Glasser, who lives just across the road.

"That's quite an obstacle course!,” we said. “It is!," he agreed. "I'm seeing a lot of people moving over to the right and kind of getting off the road that way too,” said Glasser pointing to the side of the road. “Almost into the ditch?,” we asked. “Yeah," he replied.

"It's an all-out blitz for sure!," said Brent Walker with the West Virginia Division of Highways, who told us, they’re just beginning their attack.

"Course it's been the worst we've seen probably in decades," said Walker. We asked if they've mapped out where they'll begin repairs?

"You could throw a dart at a West Virginia map and that's where we'll be!," he laughed.

They start with cold patching. "Get the band-aid approach if you will," said Walker.

The warm weather has been a real tease.

"We'd get some great temperatures and start to think we could put a dent into it,” said Walker. “Then we'd have some extremely low temperatures, and a lot of snow accumulation."

And just like in snow removal, they'll prioritize routes from interstates, to U.S. routes, and expressways on down. The state spent 18-million last year in road repairs, which can't come soon enough for Stevens and Glasser.

"Yes, please, yes!," said Stevens enthusiastically.

The State said they're looking at some new products to use in pothole repair, which may make the fixes last longer. We also found out, the State saw an increase for the first time in years, in state fuel tax revenues, which means, despite what was spent for snow and ice removal this year, they'll have a big chunk left in the coffers, to make pothole repairs with. So, look for those familiar orange cones as crews across the state get to work. Until then, good luck navigating those mine fields!



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