Icy spots remain on roads, potholes appear in others

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM (WBRC) - Alabama drivers may have to deal with one more road problems in the future other than ice—potholes.

Wednesday, many drivers were just happy to be out on the roadway again.

"It's not bad. You got to take it easy. Don't get over excited, slow getting there," Birmingham driver Kevin Halbert said.

But when you have wet weather and subfreezing temperatures for prolonged periods of time you have water seeping into the pavement, freezing and then expanding, which is how potholes develop.

"Absolutely. They are popping up now. We are ready. We are ready to solve the problem," Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown said.
Brown oversees roads and transportation for the county. Brown says if this recent cold snap causes potholes, they are ready to react to fix county roads and even roads of some small cities.

"The consortium, the cities such as Lipscomb, Brighton, Midfield. Those cities that can't take care of the potholes right now," Brown said.

But those cities will have to pay once they have the funding.

So what do drivers think about dealing with ice followed by potholes?

"I guess that will be a potential problem. We will see what it looks like. I don't know how they are going to affect us," driver Griffin Mayo said.

"I just felt like the DOT of Alabama has always done a good job. So hopefully they will come in and fix all of that," driver Susan Thrasher said.

Despite slightly lower temperatures and better road conditions, drivers still need to be careful.

There are still issues with icy roads in spots. Much of the interstate, city and county roads are in good shape, but there are still problem areas.

The bridge on Jefferson Avenue in Birmingham still has ice and is blocked. The flyover bridge from US 31 to US 280 is also closed. Wednesday, there were still accidents being reported because of ice.

Brian Davis with the Alabama Dept. of Transportation Birmingham division says his people have done a great job but not all lanes may be cleared so drive cautiously.

The Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency agrees.

"You still need to use caution while you are out. You still may find icy spots even on the interstate. You may find some icy spots. You got to be careful during this time." Michael Harter with the Jefferson County EMA said.

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