Potholes in the pavement appear when a road surface becomes worn and has suffered the effects of weather and traffic. Potholes are created when moisture seeps into the pavement, freezing, expanding and then thawing. This weakens the pavement. Traffic loosens the pavement even more and it eventually crumbles and pops out.
Weather & Potholes
Weather affects potholes and pothole repairs in several ways:
- The weather plays a key role in the formation of potholes. If rainwater gets between two layers of asphalt and then freezes, the expanding ice lifts out a piece of the top layer of asphalt and creates a pothole. The freezing and thawing cycle is very destructive for our roadways in general.
- Additionally, when we go to repair a pothole, it cannot be full of water. If the pothole is wet, the asphalt patch will not adhere to the existing asphalt. This creates a very short-lived repair.
The month of March is generally our most busy time of year for pothole repair due to the thawing out of the winter season. We are usually working with a large backlog of potholes for repair during that time. Wet weather and freeze-thaw cycles create a large number of potholes and make it difficult for us to get out and get them repaired. When the weather conditions permit, the City sends out crews to make repairs.
We attempt to fix all potholes on a section of roadway once we respond to a reported pothole. Also, we do give priority to dangerous potholes, defined as those that are in travel lanes with a severe depth.
If you see a pothole on Chesapeake City streets, please contact our Customer Contact Center at 757-382-CITY. You can report a pothole online using the Online Citizen Request application. An investigator will evaluate the pothole and place it on a work list for repairs. Repairs can vary depending on the problem. Most often, a pothole can be repaired with a patch of asphalt. Sometimes further measures are required depending on the condition of the subsurface of the road.