Mild Winter Helps Pot Hole Filling Efforts

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CLEVELAND, Ohio --

Potholes across northeast Ohio can make for a bumpy ride and a bad day if you blow a tire.  Have you noticed fewer and fewer pot holes? You can thank the mild winter for that.

It's annoying to drive through, but those potholes are getting patched up fast across northeast Ohio.

"Crews are not out pushing snow so they've been able to get out there and be a little more proactive patching the potholes," said Mark Ziaja, Public Information Officer for ODOT.

According to ODOT, the number of potholes across northeast Ohio is average, that's despite the mild winter.

"I think in some instances, they are patching more than they would have as far as the surface or skin patches versus bigger holes in the past," Ziaja said.

ODOT Crews have been out much earlier than normal trying to fill-in all the pot holes. But that doesn't mean they're saving money. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

"It's a double-edge sword," said Ziaja.  "We save the money on the salt we went out and spent it on the maintenance function but those are the things that are important especially with the potholes being a safety issue."

In Cleveland, the warm weather has been a welcome relief for road crews.

"The warm winter has helped us, it's allowed us to get out and be more proactive on filling the pot holes," said Robert Mavec, Commissioner of the Division of Streets for the City of Cleveland.

One of the reasons the city of Cleveland is staying ahead of the potholes this year has a lot to do with what they did last year, which included a big resurfacing program.  That has allowed the city to make their own hot asphalt which is used to fill the pot holes.

"That's intended to reduce our costs on coal patch and make them more durable patch for the drivers," Mavec said.

Nobody will deny that the warm winter makes everyone happier, including you, the driver.

"We're well ahead of where we were last year and intend to stay on top of that," said Mavec.

ODOT spends about $350,000 a year in pot hole patching, but already this year, they've used more materials than they have in the previous five years.