Pothole fixes soon going from temporary to permanent
By TERRY BRLAS Strongsville Post editor | Friday, April 11, 2014
STRONGSVILLE – Winter has come to an end. Anyone who has lived around here for more than a few years knows we are not completely out of the woods in regard to a bit more snow, but spring has finally arrived.
And we also know what comes during and after winter – potholes. This winter has been an exceptionally brutal one for those craters in area roads, according to city of Strongsville Service Director Joe Walker.
“This has been worse than our normal winter for sure. We have a lot of damage,” he said. “The frost line this year went extremely deep and that tends to add to our problems. It’s been a rough winter.”
City Council unanimously passed a resolution at the April 7 regular meeting that authorizes Mayor Thomas Perciak to advertise for bids for the purchase of general pavement services for use by the service department. Funds have been appropriated and will be paid from the Street Construction, Maintenance and Repair Fund.
The bitterly cold temperatures combined with the following warm-ups created freeze-thaw cycles unlike any seen in recent memory.
The city has been actively cold patching potholes throughout all four wards during the winter. This is only a temporary fix, however, as the asphalt plants that provide the hot mix asphalt will not open for another week or more.
“We haven’t been able to do a more permanent repair with hot mix asphalt, but we are still going out every day with cold patch,” Walker said.
The city’s cold patch supplier has done a good job of keeping the material and cost in place.
“The supply has been there. We haven’t had any problem getting it,” Walker said.
The permanent fix entails more grinding and the putting down of an asphalt emulsion tack coat. Road repairs are somewhat based upon the city’s road resurfacing prioritization system.
“We’re not going to go in and repair streets that are going to get resurfaced,” Walker said. “One of my foremen is going around and rating the streets for our catch type work. When the weather breaks we have a map based on severity.”
City employees will generally perform pothole repair work hitting a certain ward on a given day. Residents have been calling on a steady basis asking that their respective streets be repaired, according to Walker.
“When we get complaints we go right out there. Once we address those complaints the rest of the day we go around by ward hitting the bad streets,” he said.
Potholes can damage tires and vehicles themselves. However, unless the city is deemed negligent there is no compensation due the motorist that happens to drive over and in them.
“The majority of those are turned away. When you have a winter like we have had we can repair a street today and tomorrow there are more potholes that pop up,” Walker said.
PHOTO – The city of Strongsville has been cold patching potholes as a temporary fix until asphalt plants open and a more permanent hot mix can be applied. This service department employee fixes a Deer Path Drive pothole on April 8. Photo by TERRY BRLAS