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With opening of asphalt plants, WVDOH kicks off aggressive pothole patching initiative

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Division of Highways road repair crews are taking advantage of the earliest sign of spring weather and getting a jump on repairing the roadway damage winter left behind. The moment asphalt plants began to open in West Virginia, transportation workers were ready.

“District 1 is going full at it,” said WVDOH Highways Administrator Arlie Matley. “There’s a right way to patch a pothole. If we show our new employees the right way to patch, they won’t know how to do it wrong.”

While asphalt plants in many parts of West Virginia are still closed, a plant in St. Albans opened last week. Transportation workers immediately got in line for hot asphalt, to fill up their trucks and began their attack on potholes.

District 1 Engineer Travis Knighton, responsible for Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Mason, and Putnam counties, said Secretary White and Deputy Secretary Wriston have made patching potholes a top priority this spring.

District 10 Engineer Joe Pack, responsible for McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, and Wyoming counties, said his crews are actively patching potholes in Beckley.

“The minute were able to get asphalt we start patching,” Pack said. “We’re actually traveling to St. Albans to pick the asphalt up.”

Right now, Pack is only able to patch potholes in Raleigh County, which is about an hour from the St. Albans asphalt plant. To travel farther would allow the asphalt to cool too much to use; but his crews, as frustrated by potholes as anyone, are taking advantage of every opportunity to patch any pothole they can get to, even before asphalt plants are open in their District.

Pack is concentrating pothole patching on U.S. 19, Eisenhower Drive, and Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley, which are the most heavily traveled roads in the area.

“We are rushing to patch the potholes because they are a driving hazard for everyone,” Pack said. “Our goal is to address them as quickly as humanly possible.”

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