Temperature changes, melting snow cause perfect storm to form potholes

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LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — We’re getting to the time of the year when potholes are all over the roads.

With a warmup Thursday, and more frigid cold in the forecast this weekend, it’s the perfect recipe for potholes.

“50 percent of our business is front-end work. Ball joints, axels, bent tire rims, all kinds of mayhem,” Lizza’s Service Station owner Richard Lizza said.

Mayhem from potholes, which are even more likely as we see the warm weather melting away the snow Thursday.

“The water will make its way into cracks in the road and once it gets under the subsurface of the asphalt, you’ll get lows like we’re getting tomorrow night and Saturday night and that water freezes. When it freezes it expands and starts a pothole,” Duryea Borough street supervisor Paul Harrison said.

At this point in the season, road crews focus on a short-term solution until the weather warms.

“When we have a pothole in the wintertime, we’ll take note of it after we put our temporary fix into it. Then in the summertime we’ll come out and square off the hole, clean it out and fill it with hot asphalt,” Harrison said.

Hitting just one quick dip in the road can be incredibly costly for drivers.

“I’ll tell you with the newer cars, one rim can be up to a thousand dollars. Just for a rim,” Lizza said.

Most pothole-related repairs average $600 to $700. Repairs that could be avoided.

“I see people flying over these roads 60, 70 miles an hour, and you can’t do that. You got to slow down. If you slow down and watch the holes, a lot less damage,” Lizza said.

If you see dangerous, new potholes forming, you can contact your local borough department to alert them.

A common misconception is that once a pothole is filled, it won’t be a problem again. But things can shift and start a pothole all over again.

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