Norfolk, Va. - The number of interstate pothole work orders is down 90 percent this year compared to January and February of 2013, according to VDOT officials.
The agency credits an overhaul of local interstates, and an overhaul of the way it supervises contractors, sparked by a concrete calamity on Feb. 8, 2013. A rainstorm then washed away years of faulty pothole repairs, exposing concrete craters and problems with VDOT's contractor oversight. The deep holes disabled dozens of cars, leading to expensive repairs and fights over who was responsible. State officials said local VDOT oversight of maintenance was lacking, and the local administrator resigned.
Bill Collier, director of highway maintenance, said back then a single contractor was doing several kinds of maintenance on the interstates, from trash pick-up to pothole repair. VDOT did not supervise the work, and state officials said the cold-weather pothole patches were not adequate. Now, Collier said, there are 22 specialized contractors working on the interstates. VDOT tells them when to patch the potholes, and how to patch.
"We know what the contractors are going to do, what products they are going to use," Collier said. "And we know the results we are going to get. So, it is much easier to sleep at night."
The transportation agency ordered permanent concrete patches on the poor pavement, and asphalt paving on 163 lane miles of interstate. Remaining portions of I-264 will be repaved this summer, he said.
Collier said VDOT workers travel the interstates looking for potholes and other maintenance problems. He said the agency also gets reports from state police and VDOT safety patrols. But he said the best eyes often come from the public. VDOT says drivers can report potholes by calling 1-800-FOR-ROAD.
Five of the cities in Hampton Roads use the SeeClickFix app -- Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk and Norfolk.
Here is some information on how to report potholes:
If you encounter a pothole on a state-maintained road, report the problem here. You can also call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623) to report any road maintenance issues.
Virginia Beach Public Works: 757-385-1470 or 311 in Virginia Beach
Norfolk Department of Works at 757-823-4050.
Suffolk Department of Public Works Roadways Maintenance Hotline: 757-514-7600
Public Works Dept: 757-393-8666
Customer Contact Center: 757-382-CITY
Customer Call Center: 757-727-8311 or 311 in Hampton
Street Maintenance: 757-933-2311