BRATTLEBORO —The Department of Public Works is doing what it can to fill in potholes on Western Avenue.
Steve Barrett, director of the Brattleboro Public Works Department said a recycled hot mix is the preferred method for fixing potholes because it draws the water out from the area so it helps the patch last longer.
“We’ve struggled with Western Avenue for many years,” he said. “It needs to be completely rebuilt and it’s been some time since that’s been done.”
He called the condition of the road “very, very poor.”
The town is responsible for maintaining the state-owned road, which is part of Route 9, and the state takes on any major reconstruction projects. Barrett said the town has received funding a couple of times for temporary repairs when a stretch of road becomes really bad.
“It’s fatigued,” he said. “It’s hard for us to even keep up with and it’s frustrating for the traveling motorists.”
Barrett said the state is going to soon be rebuilding a stretch of Route 9 from Edward Heights west towards Wilmington, but the stretch of Western Avenue that is at its worst goes from Edward Heights towards the Interstate 91 interchange before Main Street. He noted improvements were made last year near the Exit 2 offramp, which had been a challenge for his crews.
Rep. Mollie Burke, P/D-Windham-2-2, wrote to the Vermont Agency of Transportation at the end of August and was told the state was aware of the segment of road but a lot of other projects were on deck. She said it looked like it wasn’t going to happen until fiscal year 2025, but she hopes more federal funds could bump the date up.
In Rockingham and Bellows Falls, the winter of 2021 hasn’t translated to many potholes so far this year, according to Rockingham highway crew chief Andy Howarth.
Howarth said the town’s policy of road maintenance and resurfacing has translated in fewer potholes.
“We haven’t had many at all due to the paving that has been done over the last few years,” he said. “I’ve noticed some frost heaves in some places. Though not bad at all,” he said.
Chris Lord, highway supervisor in Chesterfield, N.H., said there are potholes in the town’s roads, though nothing too serious, yet.
“The roads are starting to show some fatigue from the winter and it will only get worse,” he said. “We fight it every year, especially in certain spots on certain roads.”
And it’s not just the town’s paved roads that are a concern, said Lord.
“It looks like mud season already,” he said.