WVDOH fighting potholes before they form

CHARLESTON, WV – Nobody likes potholes, especially the men and women who work tirelessly to patch them.

So the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) has begun its annual fight against potholes, starting with prevention. Highways officials have spent the past couple of winters undertaking an aggressive campaign to trim tree canopy above the state’s roadways and ditch along highways as a means of reducing potholes.

Both efforts reduce the amount of standing water on the roads; the main source of potholes.

“Water gets down into the cracks in the road and freezes,” said Travis Knighton, District Engineer for District 1, which includes Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Mason, and Putnam counties.

Water expands when it freezes. This widens the cracks in the road. As water continues to freeze and thaw, the cracks get bigger and bigger until they turn into potholes.

Knighton said standing water on the road can also cause soft spots in the road during the summer months, which can also lead to potholes.

Jamie Rossi, District Engineer for District 8, which includes Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, and Tucker counties, said cutting canopy above West Virginia’s roads allows more sunlight to hit the road’s surface, drying the pavement when the road is wet.

Combined with aggressive ditching to keep water off the roads, Rossi said canopy cutting is a vital weapon in the fight against potholes.

“It’s very important,” Rossi said. “We get longer pavement life.”

By law, DOH can only cut canopy above the state’s roads from November through March. Once November comes, Knighton said DOH crews are out in full force, trimming limbs and making sure ditches are clear.

“Last year we had five or six crews going out at the same time in different areas,” Knighton said.

Canopy cutting and ditching operations are ongoing throughout the state as weather allows.

“We’ve already started,” Rossi said. “This week, we are actually cutting canopy over in Tucker County.”

Cutting canopy and ditching operations can be a bit tricky in mountainous terrain like District 8, which includes rugged areas high in the mountains that typically see heavy snowfall.

“We cut canopy until it starts to snow, then we plow snow,” Rossi said. “The milder the winter, the more canopy can be cut.”

Knighton agrees that ditching and canopy cutting are vital preventive measures that Highways officials must take to prolong the life of the state’s roads.

“It’s one of the maintenance things we should always be doing,” Knighton said. “And I appreciate that our leadership within the Division of Highways, as well as Governor Justice, have invested the resources we need to make adequate road maintenance our top priority.”

Asphalt plants don’t run in the winter. But once plants are up and running again in the spring, DOH officials also plan an aggressive campaign to patch the potholes before the summer paving season.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
BUCKHANNON – During the 130th Commencement at West Virginia Wesleyan College on Sunday, 191 graduates gathered outside on Cebe Ross Field to celebrate their academic accomplishments and say goodbye to their Home Among the Hills. Although a few raindrops fell […]

This content is available exclusively to My Buckhannon premium members. Join today and unlock unlimited access to all our content, including local news stories, photo galleries, community columns and much more.

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A former nursing assistant was sentenced today in federal court for murder and assault charges in the deaths of eight veterans at...
Erma Lorraine Perrine, 80, of Gaines, W.Va. passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Elkins, W.Va. She was born on January 18, 1941,...
Wanda Jean Anderson, 81, of French Creek, W.Va., died Thursday, May 6, 2021, at her home. She was born August 4, 1939, in Clay, W.Va.,...
BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Schools received confirmation from the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department regarding a positive COVID-19 case that impacted two classrooms at Union Elementary School.   The Upshur-Buckhannon Health...
RICHMOND, Va. – Kroger has opened a mobile pharmacy in the parking lot of the Buckhannon Kroger, located at 80 Skyline Plaza Drive in Buckhannon,...

My Buckhannon News Feed

BUCKHANNON – During the 130th Commencement at West Virginia Wesleyan College on Sunday, 191 graduates gathered outside on Cebe Ross Field to celebrate their academic...
GLENVILLE – Students in the Department of Education at Glenville State College (GSC) will now have access to a variety of educational resources at the...
ELKINS, W.VA. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) stocked the following waters with trout during the week of May 3: • Anawalt...
BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Schools received confirmation from the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department regarding a positive COVID-19 case that impacted two classrooms at Union Elementary School.   The Upshur-Buckhannon Health...
RICHMOND, Va. – Kroger has opened a mobile pharmacy in the parking lot of the Buckhannon Kroger, located at 80 Skyline Plaza Drive in Buckhannon,...
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A former nursing assistant was sentenced today in federal court for murder and assault charges in the deaths of eight veterans at...
BUCKHANNON – More than 5,000 participants are expected to take part in the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands Championship in Buckhannon, West Virginia....
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Tuesday that 258 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Mountain State. Locally,...
BUCKHANNON – The City of Buckhannon has begun the process of increasing water rates by 25% for municipal customers and 42% resale customers. Buckhannon residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinions regarding Ordinance No. 451 during a public […]

This content is available exclusively to My Buckhannon premium members. Join today and unlock unlimited access to all our content, including local news stories, photo galleries, community columns and much more.

An Upshur County Grand Jury meeting in Buckhannon this week returned 17 indictments on Monday. Here is the list of indictments provided by the Upshur...

(Please wait while we load more stories…)

Thank you for reading this story. Our sponsors help make My Buckhannon possible. Show 'em some love!