Northern cities and states are taking action to fix a bumper crop of potholes caused by unusual temperature extremes during the past few weeks.

“It’s early for a pothole problem of this size,” John Roach, spokesman for the Wayne County Department of Public Services in Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s the amount of snowfall and the amount of moisture that has gotten into the ground.” Around the state, the same maintenance crews that spent long hours plowing and salting over the past few weeks are now filling potholes.
In Ohio, the state Department of Transportation is closing lanes on major highways in the Cleveland area to fix potholes by repaving with hot asphalt instead of just plugging the holes with the usual temporary asphalt mixture called “cold patch.” This is the first time the department has tried using a more permanent patch in the winter.
The paving could cause significant delays on Interstate 77; there also may be delays on I-271 and I-480.
Fixing potholes has also been a priority this week in the Big Apple. The New York City Department of Transportation has been dispatching extra repair crews, sometimes at night, to repair craters caused by this month’s wild temperature swings. On the Triborough Bridge alone, crews have used more than 65 tons of asphalt and 22½ tons of concrete to fill 530 potholes, some as big as 8 inches deep and 2 feet across.