They appear before the flowers bloom.
They are fed by road salt in the winter and begin to appear as part of the Tri-State Area’s freeze-and-thaw cycle.
They are potholes, that annual curse on motorists and municipalities.
Now that we’ve gone through the most recent attack of snow and ice, the familiar scourge of the pothole once again is visiting the region.
They’re everywhere. They’re on side streets and main roads. They can be found on Lovers Lane, and they’re expanding in parking lots at businesses.
They’re in Toronto, Mingo Junction, Follansbee and Wellsburg. They’re on state Route 43. They’re on state Routes 7 and 2. US Route 22 is not immune.
Neither is Main Street in Wintersville, Sunset Boulevard in Steubenville nor Pennsylvania Avenue in Weirton.
Every driver has his or her favorite hole that has developed along their usual driving route.
And the potholes aren’t going anywhere for a while.
The rain, ice and snow that hammered our region last week and temperatures that are forecast to rise into the 40s for the next couple of days are the perfect recipe for the creation of potholes. It’s a sure bet that more asphalt will crumble, and holes, large and small, will emerge.
And, it’s likely to continue until — or even after — spring arrives on March 20.
We drive the same roads that you do and experience their condition on a daily basis. There’s no easy solution to be offered—only patience. The same crews we depended on last week to clear the snow and ice from our streets and help remove fallen trees are now trying to fill holes along main streets. Their efforts — during the storm and after — are certainly appreciated.
But, sadly, attempts to patch won’t be completely effective until the weather warms up. Until then, take it easy while driving. Watch speeding into puddles because that water could be hiding a wheel-bending hole.
Be cautious on roads where you know holes are and watch for other drivers trying to avoid the worst of them. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you as you try to navigate the rough spots.
Soon, hot asphalt will be available and those same crews who have worked valiantly trying to keep the streets passable all winter will be working just as hard to make more lasting improvements.
Don’t hesitate to report your “favorite” potholes to your local government, but remember, we’re all in this together, and a little understanding about the situation will certainly be appreciated.