CLEVELAND — The day has finally arrived! Welcome to the 2023 Greater Cleveland Pothole Awards, a now-annual commemoration of the biggest and baddest in The Land.
Last year’s winner, as I’m sure you recall, was quite the crater in the Irish Bend neighborhood.
But what about this year? First of all, if it seems to you like this pothole season has been a little milder than in the past, you’re not mistaken.
We asked the Ohio Department of Transportation, and according to their response, that is indeed the case.
“Statewide, we’ve used 724 tons of asphalt for pothole repairs. This compares to 4,241 tons at the same time last year," ODOT Public Information Officer Matt Bruning wrote in an email. "This is reflective of what has, for most of the state, been a mild winter with many fewer freeze-thaw cycles.”
However, many roads are outside of ODOT's jurisdiction as they only take care of state and US routes outside of municipalities and all interstates, except for the Ohio Turnpike.
But that doesn’t mean it’s been all peaches and cream out there, folks. We still got plenty of responses and we set out to inspect what seemed to be the worst offenders, based on description and frequency of compliant.
Our first stop was top check out a notorious notch in East Cleveland at Euclid and Roxy. And became quickly apparent why we had been sent here.
It’s not just one, but a rapid series of deep, cruel cavities that are hard to spot until you’re right on top of them. It’s that element of surprise that gets you.
This spot in particular was a particularly nasty notch. But was it the best of the best? Time would tell.
Our next stop was palatial Parma. We got multiple recommends for this spot. And it was clear why - the road was littered with potholes. But though the road was indeed bad, this wasn’t what we were searching for.
The next stop was to visit quite the little beauty located in the 4800 block of W 150th. But was it No. 1?
Next, it was time to visit an old friend. Last year, one of our finalists was located on Train Ave. in The Flats. Impossible to say whether they never fixed this or whether they did but it’s already bad again. Regardless, this year’s Mr. Consistency Award goes to Train Ave.
It was time to declare a winner, and after brief deliberation with myself, the choice was clear.
That gaping gulch in East Cleveland had a little bit of everything. Depth, severity, lack of visibility, etc. In other words, it was this year’s clear winner.
Thanks for the tips, stay safe out there folks.