WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Road crews have been out in full force Wednesday trying to get ahead of the massive pothole problem across the Mahoning Valley.
Leaders in the area said they are getting an earful from drivers everywhere.
One Youngstown driver said the pothole situation is the worst he has ever seen.
“The early 90’s, late 80’s, the potholes were not like this. This is brand new. I remember when I first started driving, I don’t remember potholes being this bad and this crazy,” Edward McGeorge said.
It has caused him some large repair bills.
“Tie rods, flatten my tires, and insurance don’t cover it. That is money out of your pocket that you have to pay for,” McGeorge said.
First News checked in with local governments to find out what is being done to make the roads safe again.
Trumbull County officials, for example, said they have hit on a new way to tackle the problem.
“We were looking at that internally, as far as different solutions,” Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith said. “Because everyone knows it’s going to be pothole season. It’s upon us now. And what could we do a little bit different that we haven’t done in the past?”
Lordstown and Howland volunteered some of their road department employees to Trumbull County, which will nearly double its patching payroll during a 30-day period once the weather warms up.
During that period, the road department’s employees will be working seven days a week, in 10 hour shifts, to fix the roads. Crews will work on roads that are heavily-traveled and in poorer conditions first, according to the plan.
“You know, we think that we will have the county covered throughout the entire area and we’ll be in good shape,” Smith said.
But even with the extra help, Smith said it will be at least a month before the work is caught up.
Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti said drivers must slow down and give extra time for travel.
“The potholes are going to be popping up overnight. And you’re not going to know where they are,” Ginnetti said. “You can drive a road today, and tomorrow there might be a pothole on it you didn’t expect.”
Rain and melting snow are filling potholes with water, making them nearly impossible to see at times. Some potholes on South Avenue on the south side of Youngstown are as deep as 3 inches.
“The travelling public nor the residents when they’re out on the roads, they don’t realize whether they’re on a township road or a county road or a state highway,” Howland Township Administrator Darlene St. George said. “What they do know is the condition of the road.”
St. George said the township will be able to lend some of its workers to help the county, but Howland officials will not shortchange its crews to take care of township roads. She said it just made sense to collaborate on the issue.