Now is not yet the time to solve pothole problem

It’s been a long, cruel winter. Every time we think Old Man Winter may be ready to say goodbye, he gives us another Arctic blast.

Many say this has been the worst winter of their lifetime. Others say it has been the most dreadful they have seen in a couple of decades.

Some of our homes have sustained weather-related damage. Our pocketbooks have been hit hard by increased heating costs. Even our skin is suffering from that chapped feeling caused by cold, dry winds and the harsh drying effects of home heating systems.

Snowy, ice-covered roads have caused slippery traveling all winter long, and now the potholes, or in some instances huge craters, are opening up and threatening to swallow our vehicles.

Everyone thinks their town’s potholes are the worst. We’ve heard from drivers in Lisbon, East Liverpool, Wellsville and East Palestine, all complaining that their roads are nearly impassable.

And although we humans love to complain, there really isn’t a lot that can be done about our crumbling roads until the weather improves and stays better for a period of time.

East Liverpool Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell says trying to patch roads in the current wintry climate would just be throwing money away. The problem isn’t just here, he noted, its plaguing the entire Midwest.

An Associated Press story, however, notes complaints in other parts of the country – New York City, Boston and even in Oregon – not just the Midwest. Most of the United States has suffered severe weather this winter.

Larry Galehouse of the National Center for Pavement Preservation primarily blames years of neglect and underfunding for the record numbers of craters, according to AP. And he says until Americans agree to pay higher road taxes or shift priorities, it will be patch as patch can.

After this harsh winter is over, perhaps local officials will consider finding money for more permanent road improvements.

For now, however, we are at nature’s mercy and the best we can do is bundle up and play dodge the pothole until this winter mercifully ends.

But cheer up, there are only 18 days until spring’s official arrival.