Erica Jones

How to Report Potholes in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

You may be dealing with a bumpier than usual ride because of potholes that pock roads across the D.C. area. 

The problem is so bad the National Park Service is asking drivers to use public transportation if they can. People who do drive are advised to slow down and use extreme caution.

Officials are watching George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia and Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park especially closely. 

NPS crews are working day and night to fill potholes on Beach Drive as fast as they can, spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said.

"We're out doing our best to patch these potholes for you," she said.

The work on Beach Drive potholes may continue for weeks, and a larger project to improve the road is planned.

"Later this year, we’re embarking on a three-year overhaul to completely reconstruct Beach Drive. It will be a much smoother, nicer ride for those driving and those who are out jogging and biking on the weekend," Anzelmo-Sarles said.

Detours from various parts of the 6-mile road are expected to last about three years.

Potholes are created when moisture from rain and snow seeps into the pavement, the Virginia Department of Transportation explained. That moisture freezes and expands and then thaws out, which loosens the pavement. Combined with our winter of snow and ice, along with lots of freeze-thaw cycles mean more potholes than usual.

Who should you call to report potholes that need to be repaired?

D.C.: Call 311 or complete this form.

Montgomery County: Call 311 or complete this form.

Prince George's County: Call 311 or contact the Department of Public Works & Transportation.

Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties: Contact the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Arlington: Contact the Department of Environmental Services.

Will a jurisdiction reimburse you for pothole damage to your car?

All jurisdictions told us that claims are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

In D.C., you file a claim with the City’s Office of Risk Management.

In Maryland you file a claim with the State Treasurer's Office.

In Virginia you file a claim with your local VDOT office.

If your car suffers serious damage, you may still want to file an insurance claim in case you are denied any reimbursement.

Editor's Note: The National Park Service clarified that drivers are not being asked to stay off G.W. Parkway or Beach Drive. Rather, these roads are being watched particularly closely, and drivers across the region are asked to use public transit, if possible.

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