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Beware This N. Courthouse Road Pothole

by ARLnow.com March 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm 32 Comments

Pothole on N. Courthouse Road

A pothole on N. Courthouse Road has been forcing some drivers to slow to a crawl and has been producing a big bumpy surprise for others.

The pothole is located in the northbound lanes of N. Courthouse Road, between Route 50 and 13th Street N, just a couple of blocks from County government headquarters.

The left side of the pothole is a big dip. The right side contains a portion of raised pavement. Drivers who hit the dip with their left tire and the bump with their right tire risk bottoming out and scraping the undercarriage of their car.

Most drivers we observed were able to see the pothole and slow down before hitting it. We first Tweeted about the pothole last Tuesday. As of this morning, it’s still there.

  • Jon

    First world problems!

    • David

      When you pay first-world taxes to a first-world county government that employs first-world people responsible for addressing things like this, you can point out first world problems.

      It’s also worth noting that potholes and other road obstructions are a problem in the developing world too. Thanks for the value-added comment though!

      • Doug

        Jon=pwned. Nicely done.

      • Got it wrong

        VDOT, not the County, employs people to repair potholes. You can yell at the Virginia Constitution, which allows the State to tax highway gas revenues earned in the populous areas and spend it disproportionately on new road building in less populous areas, not repair.

  • jackson

    I also love that you now have to make a right turn from a stop sign onto 50 there. That doesn’t back up traffic at all.

    • speonjosh

      “now?” It’s always been like that.

      • jackson

        I’m talking about Courthouse Rd, at the onramp onto 50 E, (past the closed onramp to 50 W where the bridge was torn down). It was a short onramp with little merge time, but about a week ago they closed it and detoured the road about 15 feet down and installed a stop sign there.

        • Josh S

          In this case, even “short” is an understatement. It was functionally a stop there unless you simply gunned it and assumed that the oncoming traffic would brake for you.

  • South Awwlington

    ARLnow – perhaps you should check out WB Columbia Pike between Wakefield and Four Mile Run if you’re into potholes.

    • Elspet

      Tell me about it! It looks like there is finally some tar around the edges of the metal plates, but it’s still a rattly ride and we drive blocks out of our way to avoid it. The ART and Metrobus have to come almost to a full stop in the middle of Columbia Pike before advancing over the worst point at a crawl.

      • bender

        Technically, this is not a pothole. A pothole is when you have (1) a hole (2) caused by the road surface breaking away. Here, the surface is still intact, even if uneven.

        And, yes, Columbia Pike is much worse.

        In both cases, the horrific condition of the roadway is due to extremely poor and utterly incompetent surfacing of the road in the first place. All of these dips are due to failing to properly build the subsurface, such that you have a bunch of sunken spots, as well as protrusions in other areas. That and the use of substandard material (which is actually standard for Arlington). Not to mention the lousy workmanship beyond the poor planning, poor design, and poor materials. Every patch job is immediately seen to be complete crap, which only gets worse in the weeks and months that follow.

        • YTK

          How much Froyo does this pothole hold???

        • Looks like a botched utility cut to me. Does the county have standards for these things? Do the utility companies have to pay hefty deposits that they only get back once the street is properly fixed? There are similar messes all over the County. Quincy and Wilson, for example.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Pothole ate my baby!

  • Alex an Dria

    Maybe the county could dump some sand/salt or pre-treat for potholes.

  • Jessica

    Did you call VDOT’s pothole hotline, or just tweet about it? It’s like tweeting a pic of a guy having a heart attack, and asking why no ambulance has arrived.

    • novasteve

      do I get a trophy if a do call the hotline? Do a I get a trophy anyways if I just tweeted about it?

    • speonjosh

      Wait, you’re scolding a local news blog?
      Did YOU call the pothole hotline?

  • St. Patrick Moran

    Does the county have any money to repair it? St. Paddy’s day is coming up. Perhaps we fill the sink hole with empty beer cans.

    • Civics lesson

      VDOT builds, repairs and maintains all the public roads in Arlington and elsewhere in the State, not the county (with the exception of certain public/private tollroads, such as Dulles Greenway)

      • nom de guerre

        Correction-the COUNTY maintains and repairs all the roads/streets in Arlington with the exception the roads below that are listed on the County’s website.

        The following roads are maintained by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

        Route 1Jefferson Davis Highway
        Route 27 Washington Boulevard (Memorial Bridge to Route 50)
        Route 29Lee Highway
        Route 50Arlington Boulevard
        Route 110Jefferson Davis Highway (Rosslyn to Crystal City)
        Route 120 Glebe Road
        Route 123Chain Bridge Road
        Route 124Spout Run Parkway (Lee Highway to Lorcom Lane)
        Route 233Airport Viaduct
        Route 237Washington Boulevard (N. Glebe Road to Lee Highway)
        Route 237Fairfax Drive (Kirkwood Road to N. Glebe Road)
        Route 23710th Street North (Route 50 to Kirkwood Road)
        Route 309Old Dominion Drive
        I-66Custis Memorial Parkway
        I-395Shirley Highway

        • South Awwlington

          I had to LOL at this. Wasn’t part of the argument for taking ownership of Columbia Pike better maintenance? As a colleague of mine said (who also works in transportation), “It’ll taken a bicyclist getting hurt or tossed to get the road fixed.” How true…and witty.

          • nom de guerre

            That was the “official” reason but I suspect it had something to do with the proposed streetcar.

      • drax

        Civics lesson, don’t call yourself that unless you actually know what you’re talking about, because you don’t. VDOT certainly doesn’t maintain every little street and road in Arlington, only a few major (state) roads.

    • speonjosh

      One hopes that the County would have a mechanism to force the contractors who most likely created the hole in the first place and then did a lousy job fixing it, to come back and fix it properly, on their own dime.

  • James

    When did ARLnow become the Ode Street Tribune?

  • Artie Fufkin

    Get the daisies for the Potholes in my Lawn.

  • Hank

    I’m pretty sure this pothole was caused by the increased number of homeless people to the area. They are incredibly violent towards asphalt.

  • Jay Fisette

    People driving cars deserve whatever damage this causes.

  • YTK

    Mamma Mia thats-a some-a spiicy Sink-a hole!!!!

  • Lucifer

    Go to Arlingtonva.us. Put pothole in the search block. Fill out the online pothole report. Should be fixed in about a week. If no results, after a week, call the number provided online. I’ve found Arlington very responsive to fixing potholes, if citizens assist in identifying them. Staff can not be in all places at all times.

    • Josh S

      However, as someone else pointed out, it’s not really a pothole. It’s a botched fill job, likely done by contractors who were digging to install/repair some utility. The county shouldn’t accept such shoddy workmanship.


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