DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Those pesky potholes are popping up all over Pennsylvania and unfortunately, a permanent fix is still months away.

No matter your driving skill hitting a pothole gives you a sinking feeling in your stomach.

“You just bump and completely go up and you pray there’s nothing broken on the car,” explained Dunmore resident, Kayla Marsico.

Kayla Marsico is just one of many Pennsylvania drivers doing their best to avoid potholes on the road. She says they’re all over the place.

“A lot of potholes, it’s like playing a game you’re like trying to drift away from them to make sure you’re not hitting them,” said Marsico.

Some are more difficult to see than others, but the damage to your vehicle hurts all the same.

“Every time I’m like op, that’s another 500 dollars right there,” Marsico said.

Winter is the prime time for your tires to meet a pothole because of melting snow and water re-freezing.

“Potholes form when water infiltrates the pavement and then with the heat and cold it expands and contracts and then that eventually leads to a pothole,” explained Jessica Ruddy, PennDOT District 4.

PennDOT and street departments like the city of Wilkes-Barre say they patch potholes as quickly as they can.

“Potholes are part of life in Northeast Pennsylvania, they happen every year we try to address them,” explained Butch Frati, Director of Operations.

Unfortunately, Butch Frati the Director of Operations for the city says it’s been too cold to fix them.

“If it’s below 20 degrees it’s nearly impossible to work with the product we use for temporarily patching these holes,” said Frati.

During winter, the city’s Street Department also has to focus on keeping the road’s safe from snow and ice.
But Frati hopes last year’s paving pays off.

“We did a lot of paving last year so I think the pothole list should be on the lighter side this year. They’ll never go away but they’ll be manageable,” said Frati.

Wintertime fixes are also often not permanent. True fixes won’t come for months

“We’ll start repairing potholes as a permanent repair usually around April,” said Ruddy.

When it comes to state roads, PennDOT says they are on top of it. But no matter where you are If you do spot a pothole report it.

“They can call 1-800-Fix-Road and report where a pothole is on the interstates,” Ruddy said.

“On our website, call the Mayor’s Office or call Public Works Department and leave a message because we are short staffed right now we have some covid issues just like everyone else,” said Frati.

There’s also some confusion about who fixes what roads. Wilkes-Barre is responsible for all streets within the city, no matter a state or city road.

Penndot asks drivers to report potholes by calling 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

Eyewitness News spoke with drivers about different potholes problems they are seeing on the roads.

Reporter Julie Dunphy talks with city officials in Wilkes-Barre about the turnaround time from a report to a fix & how to determine what’s a city or state road on future editions of Eyewitness News.