DAYTON, OHIO (WDTN) – The Ohio Department of Transportation is warning drivers about potholes as the weather continues to warm up. “I saw the forecast earlier this week, and I saw a lot of above freezing in daytime…below freezing in night time. First thing I thought of was potholes. Perfect potholes weather,” said ODOT Press Secretary Matt Bruning.
Bruning says potholes occur in colder months when snow melts and seeps through the cracks in asphalt and pavement.
At night, the snow then freezes and expands. Then, when it gets warmer during the day, that ice thaws and contracts. As traffic moves over it, that’s when you get a pothole. “That freeze thaw cycle really is a big player in creating potholes. That’s why we tend to see more of them this time of year than we do any other time of the year in Ohio,” said Bruning.
ODOT officials say safety is key when dealing with potholes, encouraging drivers to be cautious and aware of their surrounding while driving in changing weather conditions. “It could obviously flatten a tire, or other damage to a vehicle unfortunately,” said Bruning.
Bruning says because of the cold temperatures, paving is difficult when dealing with potholes. Instead, a cold mix is used to temporarily fix the problem. “Then later once things warm up in the spring, we can come back and make more permanent pothole repairs,” said Bruning.
ODOT reports they’ve spent more than 56,000 hours with more than 4,000 tons of asphalt just this winter. ODOT is only in charge of maintaining and making repairs for interstates and State-US routes outside municipalities. Streets within cities like Dayton are usually dealt with by city crews.
Bruning encourages people who are out driving that discover potholes to contact ODOT or go to their website to report where potholes are located.