The curse of the freeze-thaw cycle strikes again: a change in temperatures that results in the development of potholes.
It’s expected to cost U.S. drivers $3 billion in repairs this year, even considering the milder winter.
“We’re still behind the eight ball when it comes to conditioning roads in Maryland because 24 percent of all the roads in Maryland are still in poor condition, according to the latest report card,” said John Townsend, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The saying goes, “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” making March the most vulnerable time of the year to the road nemesis.
“We get them all the time, but this is the time of the year [it’s the worst],” said Charlie Gischlar, spokesperson for State Highway Administration. “Even with a mild winter [it’s bad], again, we had a few cold nights last week, and that’s all it takes.”
A pothole is formed when moisture seeps into cracks in the pavement; it then freezes and expands during nighttime’s colder temperatures.
“Then in the morning when it thaws, the ice melts, but the fracture and the crevice is still there. Over time, it continues to grow,” said Townsend.
As car after car rolls over these areas, the potholes grow deeper and can blow a tire, ruin a rim or even wreck your front-end alignment.
To report a pothole in the area, you can call Montgomery County’s 311 number.
If the road is numbered, (like a route) you can contact the State Highway Administration at (301) 513-7300.
“The public is our best eyes and ears. We really appreciate it and would love for folks to report it,” said Gischlar.
To address potholes across Maryland’s 36,000 miles of public roadways, AAA is pushing for more funding towards ongoing maintenance.