UPDATE: Opening of Asphalt Plant Delayed

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UPDATE 4/15/2014 10:10 AM

Perfect weather for patching the potholes, until today.

Rain means you'll have to dodge them a little longer.

The Camden Materials plant off of Old Camden Avenue was supposed to re-open its asphalt services Monday.

But the plant tells the mayor's office that will happen later this week when the weather clears.

Mayor Newell says temporary patches like the ones used this winter typically only last a few days, while the asphalt plant allows road crews to keep potholes filled through summer and fall.

UPDATE 3/21/2014 4:40 PM

Springtime means a lot of work ahead for local road crews.

Fortunately, they're getting some help from Charleston.

The West Virginia Division of Highways says they're receiving financial help to patch potholes around town.

After a rough winter, Governor Tomblin's office is asking the DOH to spend the spring getting our roads back in top shape.

The plant off Camden Avenue on the southside will begin making hot asphalt next month.

The DOH will use the asphalt for a more permanent fix than winter's temporary patches.

"The Governor and the commissioner of highways have asked us to place a strong emphasis on pothole patching the next two months. They have allocated some special funding for us to permanently patch those," says David Brabham. "All the freezing and thawing, the cold weather we've had this winter has been rough on the roads. There's an usually high number of potholes."

Again, the plant on Hickory Street will begin making hot asphalt in April.

Until then, workers are currently producing concrete.

UPDATE 3/7/2014 5:05 PM

There are places around town and across the Valley where instead of a car, you'd be better off with an ATV.

Crews are working hard to patch those potholes.

So watch for those guys.

They're right out there trying to make your drive smoother, so don't run them over.

It's a dangerous job.

As we all know this winter was hard on just about everyone and everything, especially the roads.

Officials say they're dealing with one of the worst pothole problems they've seen in years.

Workers from the West Virginia Division of Highways spent Friday afternoon on the city streets in what is known as a moving operation.

Crews are constantly moving to a new location, therefore need to use extra caution.

Whether it's the freeway or on city streets, cars are going by at a number of speeds and it can make for a number of dangerous situations for workers.

Gravel and debris is being tossed at them and in some cases, workers being hit by a car.

Rusty Roten of the DOH explains why workers are out right now in some spots that were fixed just weeks ago.

"The problem this time of year is the hot mix plants aren't open so the only thing we have to use is cold mix and it is a temporary material so it's really hard to get it to be sustainable in the holes," he says.

Roten also says workers are trained to work in traffic and set up traffic control devices, including flagging and lighting.

Drivers are reminded that we are getting into that time of year where we will be seeing crews out almost daily working on roads and to be courteous and let them do their job.

Slowing down is the best way to keep everyone safe.

UPDATE 3/7/2014 12:40 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Crews in West Virginia are planning a multimillion-dollar effort to fix pothole damage across the state.

Successive heavy winter storms this year took a harsh toll on roads. And transportation officials say the pothole are the worst its maintenance crews have seen in years.

Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox met with senior officials in the state's 10 highways districts in early February to hash out a strategy to patch the pothole problem.

The state spent an average of $18 million a year on pothole repair in the last three years.

$9 million already has been spent on the program during the current fiscal year, which began July 1.

Officials are diverting an additional $12 million aimed strictly at fixing potholes.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

UPDATE 2/10/2014 10:20 AM

It's a long process following a lot of recent severe weather, but division of highway crews are working towards making Parkersburg area roads a lot smoother.

The DOH picked up Saturday right where they stopped Friday on Garfield Avenue heading into downtown.

That stretch of Ohio and Garfield was so littered with potholes this past week, some of our viewers called it "the pothole gauntlet".

Officials say there are so many potholes scattered across area main roads, they can't even begin to think when they'll start patching the side roads.

"In between snow storms right now, we're trying to get some patched and if we get another snowstorm we'll have to go back to treating the roads and again putting more salt and sand on the road," says Tom Buchanan, crew supervisor with the West Virginia DOH. "With the freezing, thawing, until it really warms up good enough, we're going to be constantly fighting these potholes."

Buchanan says the department is working to patch hundreds of area potholes.

But they say the asphalt they're using is only a temporary fix and that the patches may sink right back in.

UPDATE 2/7/2014 4:50 PM

The drive home isn't so bumpy.

Thanks to the Division of Highways, Parkersburg drivers are now dodging a lot less potholes commuting through town.

Crews patched up the potholes Friday on Ohio and Garfield Avenues.

Division of Highway crews began filling the lanes of Ohio and Garfield Avenues with hot asphalt around 7:00 Friday morning.

They began on the far right lane, which probably had the nastiest potholes, some so big drivers were forced to swerve around them earlier this week.

Workers say filling potholes is part of catching up, before another round of possible severe weather this weekend.

"We're not here filling-in the potholes, trying to get rid of all the holes so nobody's busting a tire," says equipment operator Chris Delore. "We're trying to get a jump on it as it is. That way we can get it out of the way."

Just like treating the roads for snow, Delore says the DOH has been prepared for potholes for months with a lot of asphalt stored at their locations.

On another note, crews say whether it's battling snow and ice or patching potholes, it's certainly been a difficult winter.

It always happens after the temperatures drop and climb again.

Drivers are starting to dodge a lot of potholes.

They've opened up on several Parkersburg streets and they may be around for awhile.

The city can't do any patching until after the snow melts and any immediate repairs street workers make will be temporary.

"The asphalt plants don't even open up until the middle of April. The only thing you can throw in now is cold mix, which doesn't last," says Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell. "You'll see that in every city in the nation that has any snow has the same problem."

Another factor in the asphalt explosion is when streets are salted to melt ice, it also can eat into the pavement.

The city has two machines that make both permanent and temporary repairs.

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