Reporting Potholes in Athens May Save You Money

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Popping a tire in an Athens pothole these days is about as likely as sliding on ice.

Winter in Athens means an increase in potholes.

This year’s frigid temperatures have created more potholes than usual.

According to summitengineer.net potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of water after it has entered into the ground under the pavement. When snow and ice melts and refreezes, the pavement cracks and creates potholes.

Assistant Director of Public Works Andrew Daugherty said the potholes are also created when snowplows scrape up the cracked asphalt, or bricks, which make up many of the streets around Ohio University.

Repairing asphalt takes much less time than fixing brick streets. Because of that, drivers in Athens may not see some of those potholes repaired as quickly as they’d like.

On East Union Street, the holes have become so bad that cones have been set up to warn drivers.

If there is a bright spot, car owners can be reimbursed for damage if the city has been

A pothole the length of a small car in the bricks of East Union Street.

notified the pothole exists and has not repaired it in a timely fashion.  Because of that, Daugherty recommends residents report potholes to the Ohio Department of Transportation website or through the Athens’ City Source App  as soon as possible.

Damage from potholes can be as minor as a popped tire to a busted oil pan. Appalachian Tire Products Manager Hazel Smith said repairs can range from $50 for one tire to $1,000 for all four tires on an all-wheel drive vehicle.

Daily repairs to potholes during the winter are mostly temporary fixes. A more permanent fix would be to repave the whole road, a time-consuming and expensive project. Daugherty said each year the city evaluates streets on a 10-point scale to determine which have the greatest need. Ten streets were repaved last year, but busier streets, like East State, require more planning. The city hopes to repave it this spring.

Until then, Smith has some advice for drivers.

“When you hit a pothole, the slower you hit it, the less damage you are going to cause your car in any way,” she said. “Just please drive slow and avoid them. Go between them and around them if you can.”