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Potholes: Winter Weather Side Effect for State College Area

by on February 21, 2014 12:30 PM

As if the snow, ice and brutally cold temperatures have not been bad enough this winter, drivers also need to carefully navigate around a growing number of potholes in the State College area.

Driving over an unexpected pothole can cause flat tires and other damage to vehicles. Water build-up from rain and melted snow can also mask the severity of a pothole ahead.

Marla Fannin, a PennDOT spokeswoman, says maintenance crews conducted some pothole repair Thursday on North Atherton Street. Crews were also working Friday to repair a section of road on College Avenue.

During the winter, crews make repairs with a cold-patch material, which Fannin says is a "temporary fix."

"Once asphalt plants open up a little later this spring, we can go back and make a more permanent repair with hot mix material," Fannin says.

Fannin says potholes form during the freezing-thawing cycle, which puts stress on roadway materials and leads to cracking and deterioration.

State College Borough public works crews were also out Friday repairing potholes on University Avenue and residential streets, according to Eric Brooks operations manager.

"We try to stay on top of them as they come up when we're not plowing snow," Brooks says.

The unusually cold periods this winter have made the pothole issue worse this year, Brooks says.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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