Winter potholes make driving even more treacherous in central Ohio


CENTRAL OHIO (WCMH) — The up and down temperatures are making a mess of our roads and it is not just the snow and ice, but potholes that are appearing in many areas as soon after the roads are cleared.

Nancy Burton, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 6, said short of cleaning up after a snow storm and during heavy rains, ODOT road crews are patching potholes. But that is just a temporary fix, because of the freeze and thaw cycle we are going through.

During the freezing temperatures, crews are using a cold mix of asphalt, which temporarily patches the pothole, but really just fills the hole and does not adhere to the pavement like a hot-patch application.

NBC4 drove on U.S. 23, I-71 and State Route 104 south of Columbus, stopping in at the Goody Nook gas station and food mart on SR 22 and 104, speaking with drivers.

“The worst they get the bigger chunks we have laying on the roads and hitting, I had one the other day hit me in the side of the door when another truck hit it beside me,” said Eric Hoover from Circleville.

U.S. 23 between South Bloomfield and Circleville had dozens of potholes in the right hand lane.

ODOT crews do not just patch potholes during warm weather. Burton said even in the winter they fill potholes and repair guardrails when not operating snowplows. ODOT statistics show statewide this year they have used 784 tons of asphalt patch and nearly 21,669 man-hours with a direct cost for pothole repair at $726,126.

“South 23 is really bad, especially in the right hand lane. Yeah you know… you try your best to take it easy, try to stay over where you think you are going to miss them, but you can’t miss them,” said Paula Davis of Pickaway County. She delivers auto parts in the area and is on the road all day.

Richard Jones of Ross County said he drove SR 104 to the station.

“I noticed on some of the roads, there are humps in the road where it is freezing and thawing and it is causing the pavement to heave up, so they are going to have a lot of repairs later on,” he said.

ODOT State Press Secretary Matt Bruning said temperatures cycling from freezing to warmer and then back to freezing is causing moisture to seep into the roadway, only to flash-freeze causing a lot of these potholes.

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