Typically, the county repairs between 1,300 and 1,500 potholes each year. Crews have repaired 1,252 since its fiscal year began last October. Each costs between $100 and $200 to fix.
But Bill Shelton, who oversees road maintenance for Cobb, says the number of hazards needing to be addressed depends on how cold of a winter Cobb sees.
“Predicting potholes is impossible,” Shelton said. “Weather, age of road and several other conditions contribute to the development of potholes.”
Cold weather is a factor because potholes are caused by moisture seeping into pavement, freezing and causing the ground to expand pavement upward. As temperatures rise, the pavement falls back to its normal level.
Four road crews usually stay busy each winter, Shelton said, repairing potholes and performing other road maintenance, like problems caused by tree roots.
One of those crews was out Tuesday repairing a pothole at Weybourne Court near New Chastain Road.
Commissioner JoAnn Birrell, who represents that area, praised the county’s road maintenance program. Birrell said she’s heard from pleased residents who have reported problems and had them addressed the next day.
“I’ve had email responses from the public saying how prompt they are,” Birrell said.
Shelton said the county maintains a 24-hour response truck and responds immediately. The goal is to have problems repaired within two days.
“Our current response time is less than 24 hours,” Shelton said.
Cobb receives a “very small number” of claims about damage from potholes because they are repaired before becoming a hazard but Shelton still encourages drivers to be on the look out.