Blizzard leaves long-lasting impact on roadways and pavement - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Blizzard leaves long-lasting impact on roadways and pavement

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All that leftover snow isn't just affecting your current driving route. As that snow melts, it turns from a problem for drivers, into a problem for our pavement. A problem we can expect to surface again and again a few months down the road.

It all starts with small crack.

"When we have winter weather like this the pavement cracks, and the moisture that's on the roadway can get inside those cracks," said TxDOT Spokesperson Paul Braun.

If you combine that with a few refreezes, you've got a recipe for disaster.

"By summertime, there's that moisture underneath the pavement and when that boils to like 130 degrees," he explained. "That's when those blowouts happen, that's when you get potholes."

Part of TxDOT's $28 million maintenance budget, and Randall County's $135,000 dollar maintenance budget goes toward preventing and fixing these road risks.  To prevent major problems, road maintenance crews often seal small cracks in the road, however, sometimes so much moisture has already soaked in, that it requires a much more extensive repair job than just a little patchwork.

"If we have a big area where the base is completely failed," said Stan Cranmer, Randall County Road Superintendent. "We'll have to grind it up, mix a little more base into it and those patches are a little more expensive."

"We have to dig that out, several inches down, put a new base and put in new concrete or new asphalt," added Braun.

Because maintenance crews are sparing no expense to keep our roads 'snow-free' now, that could mean fewer funds later.

"We've gone like crazy the last three days," said Cranmer. "Toward the money we didn't spend on it last year, I bet we make up for it this year."

"Possibly we could be spending more money on snow removal than we're spending on summer work so we really have to balance that," added Braun. "A storm like this is going to be very expensive."

A possible problem that might leave a sizeable dent in these group's budgets, and our roads.

TxDOT only works on the Interstates, US and state highways and FM and RM roads.  To report a hazard on one of these roadways that you believe TxDOT has missed, you can call 356 - 3200.