Drivers dodge potholes as ground freezes and thaws

Road crews anticipate that it's a problem that's going to get worse

Potholes are starting to pop up very quickly as the Valley sees massive temperature changes.


AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Potholes are starting to pop up very quickly as the Valley sees massive temperature changes.

Just a few days ago, the area had a 73-degree temperature change in just seven days.

Potholes have been a major problem for drivers this winter, and road crews anticipate that it’s a problem that’s going to get worse.

“When you have that freeze, thaw, the roads break apart very quickly,” said Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti.

Sometimes they buckle.

One problem spot in Austintown is just a few feet away from the property of Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler.

“It’s kind of tepee’d on both sides of the road and caused both sides of traffic to slide in toward the ditch,” Ditzler said.

What happens in situations like this is that moisture will seep down into the cracks in the ground and then freeze, turning it to ice. With the warm temperatures a few days ago, that ice expanded, causing these massive buckles in the road.

“It will push a car off its normal drying path. You might bottom out on this thing; it could cause a lot of problems,” Ginnetti said.

Ginnetti said right now, there is very little that anyone can do about it. The ground is too cold to fix the issues, he said.

“A lot of times, you’ll wait ’til it warms up. If it’s a frost heave, it’ll go down,” he said.

If the temperature does warm up, it could cause more buckles, however.

For now, drivers should use caution on the roadways.

Potholes are starting to pop up very quickly as the Valley sees massive temperature changes.

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