CHEVY CHASE, Md. (WUSA9) -- WUSA9 went on pothole patrol in Chevy Chase Thursday afternoon. This is the result of an email we got from a viewer, Lilly Barake. She asked us to check on some craters along Connecticut Avenue. In her email Barake wrote, "There [were] at least 20 cars including mine that had a flat tire and [were] lined up on Connecticut Ave in Chevy Chase because of a pothole. Could you please shine a light on it."
So we sent our Surae Chinn out to investigate.
"We've noticed people swerving into the middle lane. We've noticed people stopping suddenly and trying to avoid it and causing a backup. We've noticed the concern of people losing hubcaps or getting flat tires," says Elizabeth Dodson, a Chevy Chase resident.
Connecticut Avenue is riddled with potholes but there's one that sinks below the rest on Route 185 at West Newlands Street in Chevy Chase. It has claimed a few hubcaps along the way.
To give you an idea of how big this pothole is, you can fit a street cone and there's still room left over.
As we were about to submit our report for repairs to the Maryland State Highway Administration, their crews pulled up and started filling the hole.
Turns out there was no formal written report on this particular pothole; however, the agency did receive several calls this morning about Connecticut Ave craters. So being proactive SHA drove the length of Connecticut Avenue as part of a 'pothole blitz' from the DC line through Montgomery County and made repairs.
You can easily report a pothole you run into online or by calling the correct agency. To get these web addresses and phone numbers click here.
The Maryland State Highway Administration tells WUSA9 it tries to stick with 1-3 business days in patching up reported potholes.
The agency is headquartered in Baltimore. We talked with spokesperson David Buck on Feb 11th on how they tackle the problem. "If you let us know about a pothole we'll at least investigate it within that business day. It doesn't mean we can make the fix right then. Sometimes it's a little more complicated than putting a coal patch down on it."
Keep in mind the crews that are patching up potholes are also the same crews that maintain our highways and pre-treat and plow snow during the winter.
"It certainly has been a challenge this winter when our folks once every three days have been in storm operations. Outside of that they have been filling potholes. And we have a lot of requests," says Buck.
MSHA is filling roughly 200 potholes a day in each county.
"To say that they have been taxed at a maximum this year going almost 7 days a week since December first is an understatement," says Buck. "The fact that they are going out and doing this mobile patching and working very long shifts in storm operations is tough."
Buck also adds, "This winter has been brutal on the pavement. The freeze-thaw. Then the days and nights near zero. Then days over 50. It's the worst thing you can do on pavement. so during the winter months we put down a cold patch. A temporary fix. we don't put down a permanent fix. We never have, and never will during the winter. We come back in April and May, and we will be doing a lot of that this spring, you actually saw cut it, then come back in with concrete and then you get a permanent fix."