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Repair crews take advantage of warmer weather in Capital Region

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COLONIE, N.Y. (WRGB) - Public works crews are using these warmer temperatures to their advantage. They’re cleaning up storm drains, clearing snow from roads and filling in potholes.

In the Village of Colonie, the Department of Public Works is getting as much work down before the next storm. Crews there worked to replace or repair hydrants. Les Decker, Superintendent of Public Works for the Village of Colonie, says it is so much easier for crews to dig now, when they’re not dealing with frost in the ground.

He says crews are also busy with other tasks.

“We are fixing some storm drains that normally can’t be done in weather that is below freezing. Concrete will not harden unless there is a special additive,” said Decker.

He also says they’re also cleaning their equipment, removing remaining snow from roads, as well as filling potholes.

“Obviously the bad weather is horrible on the blacktop,” Decker said.

The New York State Department of Transportation is also out repairing potholes. According to DOT spokesperson Bryan Viggiani:

Freezing, thawing and then re-freezing make conditions that are ripe for potholes — very much a part of winter/spring in the Northeast.
Melting ice/snow seeps into cracks in the pavement; when that water freezes, the resulting ice expands, breaking up the pavement. Tires rolling over that same spot can then make the pothole larger.
We’ll be out there this week patching potholes and also performing other repairs that we typically can make after the snow clears, such as repairing guide rail that may have been damaged during storms. The warm weather is a good opportunity.
We typically patch potholes with what we call cold patch.
Motorists should please watch for slow-moving pick-up trucks carrying the cold-patch asphalt and watch for crews on foot. These workers shovel the asphalt into potholes and then tamp it smooth. We’ll also use steamrollers, so watch out for those slow-moving vehicles.
If motorists see these crews, please slow down and move over. We try to do this at times when traffic volumes are lowest, but if you’re out for lunch or an errand, please remember to slow down, move over and don’t text/phone while driving. The crews are not out there to inconvenience motorists — they’re out to improve the road conditions for everyone.”

Decker adds there are some disadvantages to the warm weather.

“When you get a very fast warm up, it plays havoc on the underground utilities," he said.

Decker says they tend to get a lot of water main breaks and other issues, but says overall they love this warmer weather.

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Any motorist that notices a pothole on a state highway should report it to 1-800-POTHOLE so that it can be repaired. It’s helpful if they can note a mile-marker or some sort of landmark, along with the name of the road.

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