Toledo Blade - Mar 2, 2014 - Winter brings more headaches in ‘Pothole Alley’ - "Rapid freeze-thaws wreak havoc on crumbling city infrastructure"
Pothole Alley refers to a band of midlatitude cities across America’s heartland that are more vulnerable to the effects of severe weather than cities to the far north or far south.
Roads are actually less vulnerable to cracking in the far north, Mr. Franklin said. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, northern Minnesota, or North Dakota, for example, the cold is consistent enough to keep them frozen for extended periods, he said.
To the far south, they aren’t salted much because there isn’t as much need. But in Pothole Alley, roads are constantly salted. They can’t be left to freeze over because of how often temperatures toggle above and below freezing — a pattern that places the most stress on asphalt, Mr. Franklin said.
Many more potholes are being formed now. They are expected to continue forming through mid-April. “The thing is, we haven’t see the worst of the potholes yet,” Mr. Franklin said.
There are far more potholes out there than crews realistically can fill until this summer, he said.
Theresa Pollick, Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman, said potholes are typically repaired by a cold patch mix or by hot asphalt. The hot asphalt mix is preferred because it’s more durable. But plants that produce that material often don’t operate during winter months.