Potholes plague motorists, plow drivers

Potholes plague motorists, plow drivers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Valley is deep into the winter now and that means potholes are popping up as fast as the snow is falling.

South Avenue in Youngstown is an especially bumpy ride for drivers.

“They grew quick,” Tom Sakmar of the Youngstown Street Department said. “It’s just the changes in the weather, the warm up, the cooling down.”

Sakmar said the main priority for crews is catching up on snow removal. He does have some emergency pothole patches that need to be done.

“I looked at these holes and they’re filled with water,” Sakmar said. “It’s kind if tough when you’re filling a hole full of water.”

ODOT is also plugging as many potholes as it can when the weather allows. On Wednesday, crews were on U.S. Route 224 in Boardman patching potholes ahead of the snow. Before crews fill potholes with asphalt, they put the asphalt in hot boxes to warm it up.

“When you can put a warmer product into the pothole it tacks a little bit better, it sticks a little bit better, and it’s a better fix,” ODOT District 4 Public Information Officer Justin Chesnic said.

Chesnic said ODOT has been using hot boxes for two or three years. The Youngstown Street Department does not have hot boxes. It keeps asphalt in its garage.

Both road crews said drivers take note of potholes when they are out plowing. They also encourage motorists to report one if they see it.

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