Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

February 6, 2014

Potholes

They’re back in surprising numbers

It’s alarming how many potholes are showing up on local streets and roads — especially given that we still have many more weeks to go before the ravages of winter recede for good.

City crews were out Thursday making temporary repairs to some of the holes.

Once spring does arrive, workers will have to spend a great deal of time making permanent repairs.

Potholes form when moisture collects in small holes and cracks in the road surface. The moisture expands and contracts when temperatures go up and down. This breaks up the pavement and, combined with the weight of passing cars, eventually results in a pothole.

There are strategies motorists can use to keep damage from potholes to a minimum. AAA Mid-Atlantic recommends:

• Keep an eye on traffic patterns. Cars that slow down or move quickly to other lanes may be a sign of major potholes or road damage ahead.

• Beware of snow, ice or water that may be concealing a deep pothole.

• Report major potholes or road damage to your state or local transportation department.

• Avoid swerving, which can cause a loss of vehicle control.

• Slow down. Carefully avoid sharp impact with potholes.

• Roll through. Rolling through the pothole is better than braking rapidly.

• Inflate tires properly. Over-inflated and under-inflated tires increase risk of tire and wheel damage.

In the meantime, there are still bound to be any number of lost hubcaps, wheel alignment problems, damaged tires and frazzled nerves. It’s problems like these that will make spring’s arrival even sweeter.

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