Drive down pretty much any street in the local area and you are likely to come across a pothole, if not more than one.
A winter that has featured a fair amount of snow has also featured a lot of temperature swings causing area roads to take a beating. Local communities and the state are doing their best to keep up with potholes.
The city of North Canton is utilizing a couple of approaches to tackle potholes. If the weather permits, the city is using a hot patch to fill the holes.
"There has been a shortage of patch available commercially in the Stark County area and we have had to travel to Portage County to get the patch," North Canton City Administrator Patrick DeOrio said.
He said North Canton has also been using a device on the city’s premises that can make very small quantities of patch, which helps when supply is unavailable. When the weather breaks permanently, the city will evaluate the area around the hole and determine if a larger area needs to be excavated to make a more permanent fix.
"This year has been especially worse," DeOrio said. "The higher level of rain this winter, followed by freezing temperatures, has caused more widespread holes to appear."
DeOrio reminds motorists to drive carefully and let the city know when new holes develop. Potholes can be reported to the city by calling 330-499-8223, which is the main service number for city offices. The city’s new automated attendant will help get the call directly to the appropriate department.
Jackson Township has had two crews patching every day and crews have occasionally worked overtime during the week and on Saturdays when they are not plowing or salting.
Jackson Township Assistant Public Works Director Victor Volpe said the township uses a high performance mix and hot cold mix if the asphalt plants are operating.
"The main roads are a priority due to the speed of traffic, which makes it harder to avoid potholes," Volpe said. "If the temperature is up and we have a lot of holes in one area we will use our asphalt roller, otherwise we tamp them in with our rakes or hand tamp."
He said traffic also helps roll them. He also said cold mix does not compact the same as hot mix in the summer due to the binders in the mix.
"It appears this year is worse than the last few," Volpe said. "Also, there was only one asphalt plant open this year and they didn’t open until February so we had limited choices of material available to us."
Residents and non-residents can call or email the township hall to report potholes.
Plain Township Highway Superintendent Joe Iacino said keeping up with potholes is a chore.
"Our crews do a great job identifying problem streets," Iacino said. "We patch nearly everyday weather permitting."
This winter due to the unavailability of cold mix asphalt in the area due to plant breakdowns, Plain Township is using an asphalt mix known as High Polymer Mix (HPM). The mix stays pliable and sometimes on high traffic areas it pushes out and the road crews have to redo the patch Iacino said.
"I don't believe it has been any worse than previous years, but the amount of rain has caused some problems," Iacino said.
He said the township is doing the best it can to fill the holes, but he encourages people to call or email the road department at 330-492-3423 or firstname.lastname@example.org if they see potholes that need filled.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is also busy filling holes along local highways and state Routes throughout Ohio.
"If we are not plowing snow, we are filling potholes," Public Information Officer for ODOT District 4 Justin Chesnic said.
He said when patching potholes, first any water or debris are cleared out and then they are filled with a patching material.
"I wouldn’t say this year is any worse than previous years," Chesnic said. "What I would say is that this time of year is when we consistently see a lot of potholes."
Chesnic said the temperature fluctuates a lot this time of year and during the day the temperature is above freezing, but at night it dips below freezing. He reminds drivers to avoid distractions, stay alert and carefully watch the roadway surface for potholes.
"We are out there as often as we can be filling them," Chesnic said. "Remember Ohio is a home rule state, this means ODOT is only responsible for filling potholes on interstates, state routes and US routes located outside of cities and villages."
He said if the pothole is on an ODOT maintained roadway, to please contact the local ODOT county garage. Motorists can also contact ODOT on their social media accounts and let them know.