ODOT Forces Patching Potholes Between Storms
Weather and Traffic ideal recipe for potholes
DELAWARE (Wednesday, January 26, 2011) When not plowing snow or treating roadways in Central Ohio, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s winter workforce is repairing potholes. Snowfall, repeated freeze/thaw cycles, and traffic volumes on heavily traveled roads such as Interstates 270, 670 and 71 create the ideal recipe for potholes.
Even though District 6, which includes Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties has recorded more snow events this season compared to the same time last year, the labor hours and materials used to patch potholes is considerably less.
To date, District 6 has spent approximately $80,000, which includes labor and materials to repair potholes throughout all eight counties in Central Ohio. Last year during the same time period, from November 2009 to January 24, 2010, District 6 spent 30% more on labor and materials for a total of $117,000 to repair potholes.
“The same crews who keep highways safe and passable during the ice and snow season trade in their plows for pothole patching vehicles," said Fezan Ahmed, P.E., District 6 Deputy Director. "Pavement integrity and safety for the motoring public are priorities for ODOT throughout Central Ohio."
How is a pothole formed?
Weather is a big factor in making potholes. Moisture is a road’s worst enemy. Snow, ice and rain seeps into the pores of the pavement to expand and displace paving material. Sunlight and friction from the vehicle tires create varying temperatures that keep the damaging freeze/thaw cycle in motion.
Are there more potholes this year compared to last?
ODOT does not count and record the number of potholes. We report potholes by the amount of material used to repair the pothole. So far this season, District 6, has used 154 tons of pothole patching material at a cost of a little more than $11,000. Last year, during the same time period, almost 200 tons of material had been used district-wide at a cost of nearly $18,000.
How does ODOT find out about potholes?
Our highway workers are our best eyes and ears. ODOT also receives phone calls and provides an electronic form on our District 6 webpage for the public to report a pothole 24/7. The link to report a pothole is www.transportation.ohio.gov/dist6 and click on report a pothole.
When does ODOT repair potholes?
District 6 repairs potholes when needed. If it can wait, county crews will patch potholes at night when there is less traffic because it is safer for the motoring public and ODOT workers.
This time of year, ODOT uses “cold mix” to repair potholes. Cold mix is a combination of asphalt, rocks, sand and emulsion which allows the mix to adhere to the hole. Cold mix doesn’t have to be heated to work.