Changes In Temperatures, Winter Weather Cause Rise In Potholes Around Columbus

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UPDATED: Thursday January 16, 2014 5:34 PM

The city appears to be plagued with potholes.

Central Ohio roads are covered with them, and there is no avoiding some.

The early snowfall, combined with this season’s extreme temperature swings, is creating the perfect storm on area roadways.

Practically overnight, they seemed to pop up by the hundreds.

The potholes are covering main streets and side roads.

In Westerville, city crews have already used more than one ton of cold mix -- the mixture to temporarily patch potholes -- so far this season.

At the Wheel Mechanic, these roadway hazards are keeping them busy, too.

"We probably do 20 to 25 a day this time of year," said owner Bryce Boley.

He said it takes more than an hour to repair cracked, broken and bent tire rims.

And, Boley said, these repairs aren't just a cosmetic issue, but a safety concern.

"The biggest safety issue with a bent wheel is losing tire pressure and losing control of the car," he said.

After you hit a pothole, check your tire pressure.

If your car feels like it's vibrating, you may have structural damage.

City of Columbus Department of Public Service Assistant Director Rick Tilton said extreme temperature swings are creating the high number of potholes on Central Ohio roadways.

"If we would just get cold and stay cold, that would help," said Tilton. "You wouldn't have these big temperature swings; you wouldn't have the severe freeze/thaw cycles repeated that we've had this year."

But with nearly 10 weeks of winter left, and plenty of plowing still in store, the potholes will continue to plague us until we see signs of spring.
The City of Columbus wants you to call 3-1-1 to report potholes you see and make sure to have an address or landmark to give them. The performance standard to repair a pothole is three days.

If the city fails to respond, and a pothole does damage to your car, the city may be liable.

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