Pothole or puddle? Heavy rainfall, snow melt masking bigger problem

The heavy rainfall and snow melt this week could lead to a bigger problem.

What may look like a harmless puddle could be a pothole that leads to hundreds of dollars on repairs.

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Nearly 1,600 potholes were patched in Dayton in January, said Dayton deputy director of Public Works Thomas Ritchie.

“The thing that’s unfortunate is generally, drivers can see the potholes so whenever you get rain like this, it fills in the potholes and they end up not being able to navigate around them,” Ritchie said.

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AAA Tire and SErvice Car Care Manager Jon Bucher said they see about six pothole related repairs per week. Damage repairs cost an average of $300, but can go up to over $1,000.

“The best thing you can do is look ahead, scan the road, watch for what people are doing ahead,” Bucher said. “Are they hitting their brakes, are they trying to swerve a little bit within their lane.”

If you see or are affected by a pothole, there are a few things you can do:

  • To report a pothole in the Dayton, Kettering, Moraine or Oakwood area, contact City Hall by phone at (937) 333-4800 or by e-mail at cityhall@cityofdayton.org. You can also report the pothole through the Dayton Delivers app, available on Android and iOS devices.
  • In the Beavercreek area, contact the Public Service Division at (937) 427-5540 or e-mail them at pservices@ci.beavercreek.or.us.
  • In Clark County, use RequestTracker on the Clark County government website (account required).
  • In Butler County, call (513) 867-5744 (county roads only).
  • In Warren County, call (513) 925-1376.
  • To report potholes in other areas, check the government website for the city where the pothole is located for information on who to contact.

If you need to report a pothole or file a claim for vehicle damage due to a pothole on ODOT-maintained roadways, you can do so on the ODOT website. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Immediately report the incident and begin preparing affidavits for use in the case. These can be statements of others who witnessed the same road conditions.
  • Photographs of damage can also be submitted. Plaintiffs will need to provide repair estimates and invoices.
  • It's the driver's responsibility to prove the state is negligent. ODOT Is required to file an investigative report, as well as supply phone logs and maintenance records of road repairs.
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