City of Toledo races to fill potholesWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
I was dodging potholes everywhere the first week after the Polar Vortex.
It seemed like I couldn’t go down a stretch of road without seeing multiple craters.
At one point, I even decided to stay in the left-hand lane (even though I am a slow driver) because I simply could not avoid them on the right.
That’s why it doesn’t surprise me, although I am certainly impressed, that the City of Toledo has already filled 5,300 potholes (and counting) this year.
“We are running greater than usual because the weather has been worse than usual,” said Toledo City Law Director Adam Loukx.
I found a great explanation on how potholes form on a Michigan website. Michiganders can relate to what we are facing.
Basically, potholes form when snow and ice melt as part of a freeze-thaw cycle. Water gets beneath the pavement through cracks and as temperatures cool, the water becomes ice and expands, causing the pavement to rise. When traffic hits the puckered pavement, it breaks and forms a pothole.
Loukx said the city received 165 claims in a two-week time period for damage caused by potholes. This is higher than usual as well. However, he suspects that the city will pay none of the claims because potholes are part of living in Ohio. Plus, crews are making every effort to address potholes.
To file a successful claim, a person would need to prove one of two things, according to Lisa Ward, public information officer.
1. The city had actual or constructive notice of the pothole and failed to respond in a reasonable amount of time, or responded in a negligent manner.
2. That the city, in a general sense, maintains its roadways negligently.
This would be hard to prove considering how many potholes the city has rushed to fill this month.
But if a person wants to try, first file an insurance claim with his or her own insurance company, unless the damage is less than the deductible, Ward said.
Lois Cannon is the lucky city employee who handles claims. Her phone number is 419-245-1020. Be nice to her; it’s not her fault Mother Nature is getting back at us after several mild winters.
To report a pothole, the city recommends calling 419-936-BUMP. A form is also online with a really long URL. The best thing to do is Google “pothole request form, Toledo.”
Remember that pothole complaints for any major highways should go to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Same as the city, the state isn’t going to pay for your new tire or messed-up alignment without a compelling reason. File a report at www.dot.state.oh.us/damagereport.
Best advice: Slow down and look for potholes. Leave space between vehicles so you have more time to avoid potholes. Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Most importantly, don’t feel sorry for yourself if you hit a pothole.
“It is a never-ending reality of living in the northern climate,” Loukx said.