Huge temperature swings provoke potholes

Feb 14, 2019 | Around Ottawa County, Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

We’ve gone from sub-zero temperatures to highs near 60 degrees in parts of Ohio within just a few days. Mix in some rain and snow and conditions are perfect for the formation of potholes.

“Our crews have been working around the clock to ensure our roads are as safe as possible,” said Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks. “When they aren’t spending 12 in a truck plowing snow, they’re working on the roadway patching potholes.”

Potholes are a common nuisance, particularly during the winter season when the freeze/thaw cycle weakens the pavement. This happens when water seeps into cracks in the pavement, then expands as it freezes. When temperatures warm up and the ice melts, the pavement contracts, allowing even more moisture in to freeze and thaw. Add traffic on top and the pavement will eventually fail, creating a pothole.

Roadways with a high volume of traffic are particularly prone to pothole formation. Not only should drivers be extra alert for potholes over the next several days, but also local and ODOT crews working to fill them.


The Ohio Department of Transportation has already used 2,574 tons of asphalt to repair potholes this year, up from 1,892 tons at the same time last year. Crews have spent more than 39,000 hours – equivalent to 70 years – patching potholes this winter.


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