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Wintry Weather Taking Toll on Chambersburg Roads

It's pothole season, and Chamersburg is trying to keep up with road maintenance as winter storms continue to pound the area.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Due to the harsh winter, Chambersburg has been dealing with more road maintenance issues compared to previous years.

Road crews have filled about 40 to 60 potholes just this winter, according to Borough officials. That is a record number, and it does not include the potholes fixed by PennDOT, which is responsible for maintaining several roads in Chambersburg, including Lincoln Way, Main Street and Wayne Avenue.

"When ice freezes, it expands and when it thaws it goes the other way and that breaks up the roads over time,” said Dave Finch, Chambersburg public works director and assistant borough manager. “I think plowing also has an effect on it. The heavy metal blades, I think, will kick things up that otherwise would be stable."

Although Borough officials said they have not exceeded their snow budget yet, more winter storms and potholes could strain their monetary resources this year. As a back-up plan, they could dip into state highway aid money.

But for Chambersburg residents it is not about the money. Potholes make their commute more stressful.

"I’ve noticed, especially around Boyer Mill, that's really the worst area. That back road by the DMV,” said Chambersburg resident Dareian Griffith. “And especially driving around with the baby in the back seat, it's a little bumpy."

That is why the Borough is aiming to fix potholes as soon as they are reported. But the wintry weather makes repairs a little harder to do. "Hot patches," they're called, cannot be used in cold weather, so the Borough's left with a weaker material to fix potholes in the winter.

"Because ["cold patches"] are not heated, it doesn't form as strong a bond, so it's more of a temporary patch,” said Finch. “Whereas the hot material which you can get in warmer weather…forms a more permanent patch."

Borough officials say they're committed to keeping up with all the road issues caused by the winter storms, and are pleased with their progress so far

"We're getting more snow than normal, but it's the same thing we do,” said Finch, adding that they have gone through about three truckloads of patch material so far this season. “If there's two snows or ten snows, it's the same type of operation so we just have to keep at it more often."

Officials are encouraging people to report the potholes they see by calling the Borough’s office.

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