The SCDOT says the recent winter storm will create more potholes.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -
The winter storm is gone, but its effects will start showing up soon on South Carolina roads. SCDOT State Maintenance Engineer David Cook says the water plus the freezing temperatures will create potholes because of the poor condition the state’s roads are in already.
The water seeps into any cracks in the asphalt. When that water freezes it expands, causing the asphalt to crack even more, eventually leading to potholes.
However, the salt brine and salt the DOT spread to get rid of snow and ice will not hurt the roads.
"There's no negative aspects to the asphalt pavement, but bridges, certainly as the chlorides in the salt infiltrate the concrete and gets to the steel reinforcing rebar, it can certainly cause some corrosion and can cause some spalling (chipping) on bridges,” he says.
But he says the DOT doesn’t have to spread salt and brine on bridges too often, and when it does it’s necessary to keep the bridges clear.
Charlie Champion of Spartanburg was in Florida during the storm but was driving back home Thursday. "Just coming back from Florida you could tell when we hit South Carolina, came into two lanes, the roads are a lot worse coming up north, and there are quite a few potholes and quite a few places that need to be fixed," he said.
John Davis of Greenville wasn’t happy to hear state roads will be getting even more potholes. "I think the condition of our roads is horrible,” he says. “I travel all over the Southeast and we have the worst roads in the Southeast. We have the lowest gas prices but we have the worst roads, so I think there's a connection there."
State lawmakers will be debating bills to raise the state’s gas tax to generate more money for roads, but Gov. Nikki Haley has promised to veto any gas tax increase. She says the state can use existing resources to improve roads and bridges.