"You might have noticed that we are in pothole season," City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said this morning on his Facebook page. The understatement follows a spate of public complaints about the condition of area roadways, and pothole coverage on Newswatch 16.
A car hitting a pothole on West Clinton Street. Photo by Alexandra Leslie, Newswatch 16."The extremely cold winter has caused cracks to widen and the nearly constant plowing required to keep the streets clear has caused damage," the Mayor says. Repeated freezing and thawing over the course of the winter has worsened the problem, as splashes from cars hitting pothole puddles forces water into gaps in the road surface that then expands as it freezes.
Entirely repaving problem spots like West Clinton Street and Giles Street will necessitate closing the roads, which the City is reluctant to do until students leave town late this spring. Recent closures on Clinton Street for the bridge replacement project wrought havoc on downtown traffic patterns.
Mayor Myrick encourages area residents to report potholes on City streets using a form on the City's web site, cityofithaca.org. "We won't be able to get to every one right away, but you can help us by letting us know where the worst potholes are."