Patching Potholes in Monroe County

TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP -- A stretch of Interstate 380 near Mount Pocono was down to one lane Thursday as PennDOT crews patched a big problem in Monroe County: potholes.

The giant holes are frustrating to drivers like Iris Figueroa from Pocono Summit.

"I wish that they would fill them more permanently. I mean it costs taxpayer dollars, you know? If they have to fix them all the time, why can't they come up with something that will be more permanent?" asked Figueroa.

PennDOT officials in Allentown say the presence of potholes isn't directly linked to the quality of materials that are used and because of the state's aggressive freeze-thaw cycle, we will always see potholes.

During these chilly months, crews use an oil and stone mix called "cold patch" to help fill the holes until blacktop plants reopen in the spring.

"It's appliable at much lower temperatures. We put it in a hotbox which we can bring the temperatures up to 130, 140 degrees. It makes it a little more pliable. It works a little better in the pothole itself and it gives it more of a chance to stay in the hole," said Jay Borger, PennDOT Monroe County manager.

While many of the crews are out on the interstates patching potholes, there are some crews working on local roads, too.

Jay Borger is the PennDOT manager in Monroe County. He says when the weather cooperates in the winter months, patching potholes becomes the priority.

"We are not out in the rain or snow patching potholes, and typically, you want your pothole dry because if you have any type of water or moisture in that pothole, you're not giving it really a fair chance for it to stay in the product or material," said Borger.

While drivers are happy to see the holes getting filled, some have one small complaint.

"Well, I mean, they've got to get done but it definitely jams up traffic and I am not happy about that," said Roy Beauchamp, Pocono Summit.

PennDOT will continue patching potholes next week on the interstates and local roads.

Then, when blacktop plants open in the spring, crews in the Poconos will start making more permanent repairs.