County, state road crews use break in winter weather to catch up

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – With no snow-covered roads to plow, local roads crews are given a chance to catch up on other work. Patching potholes is the top priority right now.

A crew was out Thursday on Lake Park Road in Boardman.

Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti said at this time of year his crews are either out plowing or patching and right now it’s patching.

A special truck called a hot box is used for the work. It makes spreading the patching material a little easier. Hot boxes also allow the temporary fixes on the road to last longer.

“These hot boxes enable the material to flow better. It fills the hole better and it stays in the hole longer because it goes in hot and seems to bond a lot better than cold mix,” Ginnetti said.

Crews have used some of county’s salt supply and some overnight plowing had to be scheduled in recent weeks, but Ginnetti says overtime budgets and salt resources are both fine.

“Our salt supply for the most part if fully loaded,” Ginnetti said.

The warmer temperatures and lack of snow is also allowing the Ohio Department of Transportation to do some work that normally gets done in other seasons. A crew was out Thursday trimming trees on Route 11.

ODOT spokesperson Brent Kovacs said guardrail repair, pothole patching and ditching are all tasks that are being done while crews wait on Mother Nature to plow and salt.