YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Thursday’s heavy rains gave way to giant potholes Friday, giving road crews much more than they can handle.
“It’s not just us,” said Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti. “There’s potholes on the freeway, on I-680, on 224, on township roads, village roads, county roads. They’re everywhere.”
Between engineers in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, as well as the Ohio Department of Transportation, over 3,300 miles of roads have to be covered.
“We’re gonna focus on the routes that have the most traffic on them and get those potholes first, and then work out to the more rural routes from there,” said ODOT spokesperson Brent Kovacs.
County engineers have to prioritize where to send their crews. Ginnetti admits busier roads will usually get more attention.
“If we have a low volume road that’s completely blown out, we’re gonna go there first. But obviously, the South Avenues, the Mahoning Avenues that are getting, you know, 30,000, 40,000 cars a day, we’re gonna try to get to these as quickly as possible.”
On a driving tour around the area with Ginnetti, WYTV 33 News found crews out patching up roads.
He said some roads, like Meridian, aren’t bad now but are already showing signs of trouble coming soon. There are long cracks in the asphalt.
Ginnetti said the flooding made problems of a normal winter freeze-and-thaw cycle even worse.
“Anywhere there’s a weak spot, there’s a crack, a pothole, it’s gonna open it up, and the velocity and the volume of the water that came caused some major problems.”
With about six crews each from ODOT and Mahoning and Trumbull counties, it will take time to patch every road riddled with potholes.
Ginnetti said road crews are doing the work as quickly as they can to give drivers some relief for their daily commutes.
While workers are assigned to scout out roads for problems, local engineers and ODOT encourage residents to let them know where potholes need fixed.
You can call to report a pothole on state-maintained roads, including interstates and state and U.S. routes in townships and villages):
- Mahoning: 330-786-4962
- Trumbull: 330-786-4987
- Mercer & Lawrence: 1-800-FIX-ROAD
You can report a pothole through an online form on ODOT’s website. In Pennsylvania, you can report one through PennDOT’s Customer Care Center on the department’s website.
If you need to report a pothole on a state or U.S. route in a city, you must contact the city directly.