Operation R.I.P. Potholes update: WVDOH has patched along more than 1,000 miles of road

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) road crews have laid down nearly 700 tons of asphalt and milled and filled potholes along more than 1,000 miles of roadway in Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Mason, Putnam, Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, and Wayne counties since an asphalt plant in Poca opened on Tuesday, January 30, 2023.
Gov. Jim Justice and the WVDOH are taking advantage of a recent streak of warmer weather to announce Operation R.I.P. Potholes. With current warmer weather and temperatures expected to climb into the 50s and 60s over the next couple of weeks, the WVDOH has made arrangements with asphalt plants in Princeton and Morgantown to open on Monday, February 5, 2024, to build on the momentum from the opening of a plant in Poca.
“Our partners in the asphalt industry are cooperating with us to open during the off-season to provide us with hot asphalt to make needed repairs,” said Joe Pack, P.E., WVDOH Chief Engineer of Operations.
The WVDOH is concentrating on high traffic roads and branching out onto less heavily traveled roads in an attempt to patch as many potholes as possible before cold weather returns.
On Thursday, February 1, 2024, WVDOH road crews patched potholes on WV 10 in Cabell County, Little Coal River Road in Lincoln County, Buffalo Creek Road in Logan County, WV 49 in Mingo County, and US 52 in Wayne County.
Crews also patched on WV 62 in Mason County, WV 3 in Boone County, Interstate 77 in Kanawha County, WV 4 in Clay County, and WV 34 and WV 817 in Putnam County.
A recent freeze/thaw cycle of snow and very cold temperatures, followed by warm temperatures and rain, has wreaked havoc on West Virginia Roads. WVDOH road crews have been patching potholes with cold asphalt throughout the winter, but these repairs are only temporary. What the WVDOH and contractors need to make permanent pothole repairs is hot asphalt.
The WVDOH and its contractors depend on asphalt plants throughout the state to provide asphalt for paving and patching. Those plants shut down during the winter for maintenance and usually don’t reopen until spring.
The opening of the Princeton plant will allow patching in McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, Wyoming, Monroe, Summers, and Fayette counties in southern West Virginia. Opening the plant in Morgantown will allow patching in Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, and Taylor counties in upper north central West Virginia. In areas where hot mix is still not available, such as areas where the asphalt plants themselves are down for winter maintenance, crews will be out in full force patching with temporary methods to allow a smooth ride for motorists.
As Operation R.I.P Potholes continues, the DOT will keep the public informed through regular press announcements.