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County, Poplarville battle potholes

FILLING IN THE HOLES: A member of the Pearl River County Road Department works on fixing a pothole Tuesday afternoon. Both the county road department and Poplarville Public Works have seen an increase in potholes this year.  Photo submitted.

FILLING IN THE HOLES: A member of the Pearl River County Road Department works on fixing a pothole Tuesday afternoon. Both the county road department and Poplarville Public Works have seen an increase in potholes this year.
Photo submitted.

Despite warming temperatures across the state and nation, county and city public works departments are still dealing with the aftermath of harsh winter weather.

In Pearl River County and Poplarville, more potholes have been popping up as a result of the unusually cold weather in January and February.

“It was the perfect breeding ground for potholes,” said County Road Manager Dale Miller

Miller and Poplarville Public Works Director Sam Hale said they have seen an increase in the number of potholes and attribute it to the winter temperatures.

Hale said when it gets cold and rainy, water slips into cracks in the roads. The water then freezes and forces the asphalt to separate where it adheres to the bottom layer, which creates a pothole.

Miller said the county road department is “trying to wage war on the potholes” while also being cost effective.

Instead of short term paving solutions, Miller said he started using a technique that is more aggressive and lasts longer. This process avoids the need to make repairs to the same patch of road several times in one year.

Miller said instead of using the old technique, the road department has switched to a new product called “perm-a-patch,” which is a sealant spray and heavy tar used to seal stress cracks in the asphalt.

He said the department has experimented with the product in certain areas for the last 10 months. Those areas repaired by the new product haven’t required repairs. With the old technique, repairs would already be necessary.

In areas where potholes are reoccurring, Miller said crews have begun cutting out those areas and fixing the problem at the base level to help prevent crews from preforming temporary fixes on a regular basis.

Despite the increase in the amount of potholes, both the road department and Poplarville Public Works department are working with the same amount of crews.

Hale said his crews have been trying to fix them as soon as they can.

Miller said he has one crew that addresses pothole repairs, but other crews are now being supplied with the necessary tools required to repair potholes. In this way if one crew comes across a pothole during the day, they can address the problem instead of waiting on another crew to fix it.

Picayune Public Works Director Eric Morris said he has not seen an adverse affect on the roads in Picayune due to the winter weather.