Pothole Patrol activated in Wilkes-Barre

Pothole Patrol activated in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- Its that time of year again.

When temperatures warm up, and what’s left over from winter storms starts to melt, potholes start popping up.

Water from melting snow slips into cracks in pavement and freezes, weakening the asphalt and forming them.

“We’re out there dealing with them every single day. We patch them temporarily because it’s the only product we can buy this time of the year. Asphalt plants don’t really open until April or May for permanent asphalt so we have to do what we’re doing right now,” the city’s Director of Operations Butch Frati said.

For the City of Wilkes-Barre, and many other municipalities, that means using cold patch.

Its made with similar materials as regular asphalt, but is more pliable and doesn’t harden.

City DPW crews, called the “Pot Hole Patrol”, are working on patching up spots where they know potholes usually form, but they’re also asking for the public’s help.

The hotline to report those potholes opened today.

It's sure to be a relief to drivers navigating the roads.

The staff at T&F Tire Service and Supply knows all about the headaches potholes can cause.

“We’ll see some bent rims, we will see some bubbles on the sides of the tires, its called an impact brake, but the tire will be damaged from that impact and then, of course, the alignment could be knocked out of whack and maybe in a worst-case scenario you see some steering or suspension components that are damaged. Not that common, but it happens,” owner Thomas Tranguch said.

Those repairs could cost a couple hundred dollars – and increase depending on the damage.

The best defense for drivers is just to avoid them, and when you see them make use of the city’s pothole hotline.

“One thing people need to remember is that we do live in Northeastern Pennsylvania. This occurs every winter not just in Wilkes-Barre, but in every other municipality. It's been an extraordinary winter. Our temporary repairs measures only last for a very short period of time so we’re back out probably on the same cut we did two weeks ago so bear with us – be careful,” Frati said.

When you call the Pothole Patrol, the city is asking that you provide the nearest street address or intersection.

That number is (570) 208-4237.

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