How to Report a Pothole in DC, Maryland, and Virginia
Picture this-you’re cruising down the road with your windows and top-down. There’s not a cloud in the sky. You’re on your way to the beach or the park. Music blares from your speakers, and you’re just about to hit that high note perfectly when suddenly, you hit a pothole.
I bet you can feel the jolt in your car, can’t you? And it ruins the whole image.
If you’re a driver, you know the mini heart attack that comes with hitting a nasty pothole. You probably know what it feels like to spend the next few minutes listening closely to your car to see if you’ve popped a tire.
Everyone knows that potholes are a nuisance, but most of us just accept them as a necessary evil. And we spend our time trying to memorize the dips in our morning commutes so that we can dodge them.
We think to ourselves, Potholes happen. What can you do?
Well, luckily, there’s actually a lot that you can do.
What Causes Potholes
Potholes are unavoidable. New ones pop up every year.
The harsh winter temperatures and precipitation affect the roads. When it rains, the water seeps into the asphalt. As this runoff freezes, it expands and weakens the road. After enough cars drive over this weak spot, it eventually caves into a pothole.
This is why you notice them more in the Spring.
But now that you know what causes potholes, what can you do about them?
How to Fix a Pothole
To protect your car from those fatal potholes, the best thing you can do is to contact your local government agencies and ask them to fill it.
The agency you call depends on where the pothole is located. Many highways are maintained by the state that you live in, but more local roads are the responsibility of the county.
For state-maintained highways, report potholes to the Maryland State Highway Administration online.
State-maintained highways include interstates, roads with US numbers (such as US 50), and roads with MD numbers (such as MD 210). To find out who maintains your road, use this map.
If a pothole damages your car, you can file with the claims department at the Maryland Treasurer’s Office, and they may pay for the repairs.
For local roads, contact the individual county’s Department of Public Works or Transportation.
Because of all the traffic that DC gets, potholes are widespread. And anyone who has braved rush hour in DC knows that potholes can make the commute that much more frustrating and slow.
Luckily, DC hosts Potholepalooza every Spring, where they work overtime to fill tens of thousands of potholes.
However, potholes still persist.
To report them, call 311 or tweet @DDOTDC with the location and picture of the pothole you want to be filled. The city promises to take care of it within 3 business days of the report.
For any claims, file with the Office of Risk Management.
Report potholes on state-maintained roads to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
For local roads, call the county Public Works department of that city or county. These roads are also supposed to be filled within 3 days of a report.
When it comes to damages, VDOT handles all claims directly.
Road maintenance is not only a safety issue, but it also comes with a high price tag when our vehicles get damaged as a result.
Call us today with any questions you have about proper road, sidewalk, and parking lot maintenance.