Potholes pose danger to motorists

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:47

    WARWICK-Warwick residents John and Maryanne O'Flaherty were so concerned about the huge pothole, one of several in front of their home on Bellevale Lakes Road, that they filled it with bricks. "At first we were hoping to save someone from loosing a tire or a hub cap," said Maryanne O'Flaherty, "but now the holes are growing and getting so big that people are driving on the grass to avoid oncoming cars." She and her husband are especially fearful that someone who is not familiar with the area and who may also be driving too fast will hit the pothole and loose control. "My concern is that telephone pole," she said pointing. "We really don't need more tragedies on this road." Potholes are bowl-shaped openings that usually have raveled edges and can be up to 10 inches deep. According to Jeff Feagles, commissioner of public works for the Town of Warwick, they occur when moisture seeps into the pavement and then freezes and expands. After thawing, traffic loosens the weakened pavement and eventually the top layer of the roadway wears away, exposing the concrete base. After a cold and snowy winter, conditions are ripe for potholes, which could obviously be hazardous to motorists. John and Maryanne O'Flaherty claim several calls to the town and the county have gone unanswered. But Feagles explained that hot patch, necessary for a permanent fix, will not even be available at the quarries until mid-April. And cold patch, used for temporary repairs, is easily disturbed by traffic and may not even last a week. "If I had hot patch, I would be out there right now," he said. Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, however, has promised to have someone look into the holes in front of the O'Flaherty home. "We need warm weather for permanent repairs but we'll see what can be done," he said. Feagles also reported that until the hot patch quarries open, the Department of Public Works is planning to make temporary repairs where there are hazardous conditions. "We've ordered six more tons of cold mix," he said.