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ODOT Allen County Highway Technicians Jarrod Lyle, Ashley Lemar and Andy Wita repair potholes on state Route 117 in Allen County
​ODOT Allen County Highway Technicians (from left) Jarrod Lyle, Ashley Lemar and Andi Wita repair potholes on state Route 117 between Lima and Spencerville.

ODOT highway crews shift between winter, spring work

LIMA, Ohio (Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018) Just like the temperature, the daily work of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) fluctuates between winter and spring.
“This is the time of year where we must continue to be ready for snow and ice, but also respond to potholes which can develop quickly in pavements due to freeze and thaw,” said Kirk Slusher, deputy director for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 1.
The challenge for highway crews is there is often no indication of when or where a pothole will appear. And once an area of pavement is compromised, it doesn’t take long for a pothole to develop and expand.
The challenge for crews is also the availability of the material this time of year and the continued fluctuation of temperatures. “Hot mix asphalt plants are not yet in operation. So the fixes we make now are usually temporary using available material,” said Slusher.
To date, the district has expended over 5,600 hours and has used 72 tons of material this winter in repairing areas of highway pavement throughout our eight-county region. “That is not excessive for a typical winter, but is certainly more than the two previous years given the mildness of those winters,” he said.
Potholes are discovered by transportation managers during their normal monitoring of pavements, and are also reported by motorists. “We make repairs as quickly as possible once we learn of them,” said Slusher.
The department utilizes the following material and equipment to perform pavement repair during the winter. The chosen method depends on the location and size of the affected pavement and the availability of equipment:
  • Spray application – this method uses specifically-designed equipment which mixes liquid asphalt and small stone together. The operator then sprays the patching material onto the pavement.
  • Recycled asphalt – asphalt which has been removed as part of a previous repair is placed into an asphalt hot box and reheated. It is then dispensed by crews onto the roadway.
  • Bagged cold mix – a ready-made product which is placed directly into the area needing repair.
When not engaged in snow and ice clearing or pavement repair, the department also works on roadside berm repair, removal of small trees and repair of drainage structures this time of year.
ODOT District 1 includes the counties of Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot.

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for these projects are being, or have been, carried out by ODOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a memorandum of understanding dated December 11, 2015, and executed by FHWA and ODOT.