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Potholes a pain for Capital Region drivers

February 05, 2019 06:09 PM

The thaw and freeze cycle we're stuck in has brought out the potholes in a big way in the Capital Region.

Drivers know the sickening thump – sometimes with a dreaded scraping noise.

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Potholes are a fact of life in the Northeast. It means you'll see hubcaps littering the road.

Drivers are forced to guess if a puddle is covering up a big pothole. They may also be huddling to one side of the road to avoid the visible craters.

Because we're in the middle of winter, repair crews can't do anything permanent. Instead, they do temporary fixes with cold patch asphalt. Other crews are prepping roads for whenever the next snowstorm hits.

Repair crews are asking drivers to slow down and be patient as they try to make the roads better.

"The water will melt and get into the asphalt. We all remember from middle school science class that when water freezes and becomes ice, it expands. What happens is when that water expands, it becomes ice underneath the pavement. That's what creates potholes," explained Bryan Viggiani with the New York State Department of Transportation. "You add to that tires driving over the same spot repeatedly and you get an even bigger pothole."


While potholes are nearly impossible to avoid, here are some suggestions to try:

  • Give yourself some space. If you see the car in front of you hit one, if you're far enough behind, you might be able to avoid it.
  • Make sure you have a tight grip on the steering wheel. If you hit a big pothole and you lose your grip, you could end up in the wrong lane.
  • Don't slam on the brakes. While you don't want to drive through a pothole, hitting the brakes as you hit a pothole can make the damage worse.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. That can give you a little bit of added protection.

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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