Drivers fed up as potholes seem to get worse

CLEVELAND -- Most of the snow has melted, but the roads are still dangerous in Cleveland thanks to potholes.

The question is why are most highways better than side streets? The easy answer is highways are just built to last.

Knowing they have to handle a lot more traffic and semi trucks, ODOT tells Channel 3 News they use special pavement to make sure cracks don't develop like the crater on Detroit Avenue near West 117th Street.

Drivers can barely make it through the area without damaging tires and frames.

"They need to fix these potholes, man. Somebody tell the city something," a driver yelled out his window.

The city said crews are out every day weather permitting, using about 90 tons of hot asphalt in a day's work. On Monday, 13 crews were repairing more than a dozen streets. But the progress is sometimes hard to spot.

"I think they're horrible, and it's ridiculous, and they need to fix them quickly, because I've already gone through two sets of tires," Alex Harris said. "It's just crazy."

Many are forced to weave in and out of lanes, making potholes even more dangerous.

"I'm not drunk. I'm avoiding potholes," Tonya Lomac said.

Some are even avoiding streets altogether, like the area of West 117th and Detroit, covered in craters and boulders for proof.

"I've been in Cleveland for about eight years, and this is as bad as it gets," Ivan Kokin said. "I've never seen it this bad. Some streets I do not go on. I'd rather take the long way."

The long way for some is the highway -- noticeably smoother. ODOT said they're built for a 20-year life cycle with special materials for heavier traffic, almost a glue-like substance that keeps the pavement bonded together to withstand semis. For ODOT, the slogan is "no pothole left behind," but city drivers feel left behind.

"I work and pay taxes, too. I'm a taxpayer," a man yelled from his car as he drove on Detroit Avenue.

The city decides how to maintain the streets and what materials to use, so taxpayers and drivers should voice their concerns to City Council members.

The city has hired a contractor to assist the crews. The "Pothole Killer" machine is part of that contract earlier this month. The third and final round of its work is scheduled for tomorrow.

The city is also keeping a blog with pothole progress. View it HERE.

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