Potholes back to plague Marietta residents

MARIETTA — The recent freeze, thaw and refreeze has created a perfect example of how winters affect roads in Marietta.

“This is probably the worst I’ve seen it in five or six years,” said City Streets Superintendent Todd Stockel. “The potholes on Second Street, Third Street, Glendale, it’s really bad. There’s even talk of one of the asphalt plants opening up early and they usually don’t open until late March or April.” But beginning Monday afternoon Stockel’s crews were already out addressing the roads.

“And we’ve got our patching machine up in Columbus today picking up emulsion so we can roll out a better fix,” explained Chris Hess as he drove a truck down Second Street Tuesday while Vince Jett and Kevin Francis filled holes along Second Street with cold mix. “The cold mix is basically a sticky mix with the stones. Sometimes it works and sometimes we’re back. It depends how much water gets into those holes and opens them more.”

Mechanics also see an increase in business this time of year due to the loose gravel and holes in the road.

“We tend to see more work in the wintertime because it’s so hard on the tires, rims, ball joints and windshields too,” said Ted Clintworth, owner of John’s Auto Repair in Devola. “There are a lot of potholes around here, especially on (Ohio 60).”

He said there’s no real way to protect a vehicle against the damage potholes can inflict, besides avoiding them.

“But sometimes that’s not an option, and if there’s a hole that means there was material there that has gone elsewhere,” he said. “I just put brand new tires on my truck and I’m wondering if they’ll make it through the winter. Plus there’s six to eight chips already in my windshield.”

AAA recommends that drivers routinely check their vehicle’s suspension to make sure struts and shock absorbers are in good condition, and check the car’s alignment after hitting a pothole too hard.

When driving, keep eyes focused on the road and scan areas ahead for potholes, and always slow down if a pothole cannot be avoided.

Pot holes in Marietta can be reported to the mayor’s office 740-373-1387, the Marietta Police Department at 740-376-2007 or online at http://mariettaoh.net/index.php/information/streets/pothole-hotline