PARKERSBURG - Drivers and cash-strapped road departments across West Virginia and Virginia are facing a new challenge: An obstacle course of potholes.
Melting snow and ice from a series of winter storms that buried parts of both states are revealing thousands of potholes. Parkersburg is also feeling the effects.
Mayor Bob Newell said city workers have been trying to patch potholes this winter. But the fix is only temporary.
Parkersburg has tentatively budgeted $400,000 for street repairs. That’s in addition to coal severance funds and maintenance money. (Photo by Jody Murphy)
"When it snows, crews are back to salting and cleaning the streets," Newell said.
Crews have been throwing cold mix into holes, but it's only a temporary fix. Newell said crews will continue to patch holes until they are able to repair the street sections.
"Anytime you fix a pothole it is a temporary, no matter how you fix it, unless you cut it out."
West Virginia has already spent nearly $3 million more than the $54 million it budgeted this year for snow clearing. Virginia, meanwhile, dipped into reserves after exhausting its $79 million budget, but still has about $28 million for asphalt and concrete patching.
Newell said there has been more snow and ice on city streets than in recent years and the moisture, combined with freezing temperatures, has produced plenty of potholes.
When asphalt plants open this spring, Newell said the city will resume fixing streets.
Despite a tighter projected budget, Newell said there is still street money to fix streets. The city has tentatively budgeted $400,000 for the street repairs. That's in addition to coal severance funds and maintenance money.
Unlike past years when large sections of the streets were milled, Newell said crews will cut potholed sections out of the streets to make repairs.
"The difference this year is we are not milling up entire streets and paving them. That is not an option at this point."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.