If you drive more than 10 mph on Horicon Avenue in Glens Falls, chances are your vehicle will lose a hubcap, or worse.
The road that runs between Glen Street and Kensington Road is among the worst in the Glens Falls area for pavement problems stemming from this winter’s freeze-thaw cycle. Much of the problem stems from the fact water expands when it freezes, exploiting cracks in pavement, which breaks up from the force of vehicles and plows.
Glens Falls Public Works Superintendent Bob Schiavoni said the winter’s weather extremes, with cold of nearly 20 below and thaws that included a number of rainstorms, have made it a rough end of the season for pavement and a worse season for potholes than usual.
“It’s been a crazy winter of cold and then rain, snow, warm weather and more rain,” he said. “We’ve got crews out there working on it, but we are still clearing snow, too.”
Warren County Public Works Superintendent Kevin Hajos agreed that this winter seemed to cause more pavement problems on county roads as well.
“I believe this winter has been a little worse than what we’ve seen in the past,” he said.
Few roads are immune this year, it seems.
City and village streets, town roads and many state roads, including Route 22 in Granville and Route 28 in Johnsburg, have bad stretches. Even the Northway has some craters in sections of Warren, Saratoga and Essex counties.
In Warren County, county-maintained roads such as West Mountain Road in Queensbury, Olmstedville Road in Pottersville and the stretch of Quaker Road in the southeast corner of Queensbury seem particularly problematic. (Hajos said West Mountain Road is scheduled for repaving later this year, while Quaker Road is on a list of roads for which federal funding was being sought.)
Hajos said roads that are heavily shaded by trees and take longer to dry out, such as Olmstedville Road, typically have the biggest issues.
“It’s all part of living in the Northeast,” said Jim Hogan, highway general supervisor for Washington County.
Hogan said Washington County crews have been working to address problem spots as well, as this year’s pothole season in Washington County seems to be as bad as usual.
State officials announced last week that the Department of Transportation will put an extra $128 million toward repaving sections of state highways that were damaged by the recent “extreme” winter weather.
Sections of Route 28 in Johnsburg, Route 22 in Granville, Route 29 in Saratoga County and Route 9 in North Hudson will receive new layers of pavement this spring through the state funding, which comes in addition to routine repaving that was scheduled for later this year.
Bryan Viggiani, a DOT spokesman, said state crews have been out when weather allows to fill in as many holes as they can, using cold patch and a hot product known as “mastic.”
“We are our patching potholes when the conditions are dry and the temperatures are right,” he said.
Schiavoni said paving crews will be resurfacing a number of streets in Glens Falls this summer as well, with the list to be determined. Horicon Avenue is on the list to be paved.
“We are going to be doing quite a bit of paving this year,” he said.