Temperature changes and difficult winter make pothole season deeper than normal

Local News

Since winter started the Ohio Department of Transportation said it has spent 171,231 hours fixing potholes, statewide.  That’s up nearly 50,000 hours from last season.  Crews have also used 8,624 tons of asphalt to patch up the roads.

Just in Central Ohio, ODOT crews have spent 26,407 hours patching potholes using 1,323 tons of asphalt, since the beginning of this year. 

“This time of year we’re still battling those potholes,” said ODOT Dist. 6 Highway Management administrator Shawn Rostofer. “We’ve had an above average winter…The freeze/thaw cycle has been a constant concern that we’ve dealt with.”

He said variance in temperature, 70 degrees one day and then in the 30’s the next, has made it tough to fight potholes.

“When we get the freezing temperatures after we have those rains and the pavements have not had a chance to dry out that definitely is a recipe for potholes,” said Rostofer. “It’s all based on that moisture getting in the pavement and that freeze/thaw cycle of essentially making that pavement pop and creating that pothole.”

Drivers said they’re constantly dodging potholes.

“I’ve seen a lot of people have problems with their cars,” said motorist Lawrene Harchaoui. “Hit the potholes, their tires are coming off, all kinds of problems.”

She’s already had to fix the alignment on her car.

“It was actually on 670, so going around 670 trying to get downtown and I hit one and you felt the whole car shake,” she said. 

Tommy Hackett said he does his best to avoid them.

“You hit a pothole and your car just makes a very expensive noise,” he said. “There’s a lot of potholes lately and I really wish there wasn’t and they would go away. It’d be fantastic.”

Rostorfer said often during winter months asphalt plants are closed, so a temporary cold-mix is used to patch roads. He said crews are working hard, day and night, to make a permanent fix to the roadways.

“We do see those number of potholes decline over the next month or so,” he said.

ODOT asks drivers to give their crews space to work on the roads. Slow down or move over when you see their flashing lights. 

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