City of Columbus To Start Intensified Pothole Repair - Call 311

The city of Columbus will begin a two-week intensified pothole repair program Sunday, March 18, 2012.  Department of Public Service Street Maintenance crews will patch potholes around the clock during the effort through April 1, weather permitting.  Potholes cannot be repaired during snow, ice and rain events.
The pothole effort will be done within regular working hours at no additional costs, without using overtime. 
During the two-week intensified pothole repair effort, residents may report potholes through Facebook at Report Columbus Potholes or Twitter @ColumbusDPS, in addition to the customary 311 Customer Service Center.  To help the City better serve residents, the City asks residents to include the location of the pothole by referencing:
  • The name of the street where the pothole is located
  • The address of a home or business closest to the pothole
  • The direction of travel (northbound, southbound, eastbound, westbound) where the pothole is located
  • If it is a multi-lane street, the lane in which the pothole is located
Residents are also reminded not to tweet/facebook and drive.
The mild winter of 2011-12 has allowed City crews who would otherwise be plowing snow to get a head start on winter pothole repair:
  • City crews fixed 7,758 potholes in December 2011, more than the combined 7,541 potholes repaired during the previous two Decembers of 2010 and 2009 
  • City crews repaired 10,400 potholes in January, more than the 7,597 pothole filled in January 2011 and the 8,653 potholes fixed in January 2010
  • The 16,465 potholes repaired in February are fewer than the 17,968 of February 2011.   This is the result Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s 2011 increased investment in street resurfacing in 2011 and the absence of the typical repeated winter freeze-thaw cycles that are a leading contributor to the creation of potholes.
Pothole patching is a year-round city of Columbus priority.  The standard for pothole repair is within three days after a service request is filed with the City’s 311 Customer Service Center.  The standard may go beyond three days when:
  • A very large volume of potholes are being reported
  • Snow, ice or rain storm that prohibit pothole patching; In these instances, the standard is to patch potholes as soon as possible
The severity of winter weather and the general condition of city streets drive the number of potholes.  From 2007 through 2011, the City has patched an average of 124,753 potholes.
Residents are encouraged to report potholes throughout the year by contacting 311 at 311 or 645-3111, or online at
The City is responsible for repairing potholes on 6,366 lane miles of roadway; a lane mile is one mile of roadway multiplied by the number of lanes on the roadway.   
The two-week pothole repair effort will be funded through the Department of Public Service’s Street Construction Maintenance Fund.

                               City of Columbus Pothole Patching Fact Sheet
The City of Columbus patches potholes on City of Columbus streets and parts of State routes 315, 33 and 104 that are in the City of Columbus
  • ODOT is responsible for patching potholes on I-70, I-71, I-270 and I-670
Columbus’ Pothole Patching crews are responsible for 6,366 lane miles of roadway. 
  • This effort is measured in lane miles because potholes can occur in each lane of a roadway
  • A lane mile is defined as one mile of roadway multiplied by the number of lanes in the roadway.  For example:
  • 1-mile stretch of roadway x 5 lanes in the roadway = 5 lane miles
 Pothole Patching  policy and practice:
  • The process for patching potholes begins two different ways:
  • Residents contact 311 (call 311 or 645-3111, or online at to notify the City of the location of a pothole.  Please include an address or nearest address of a home or business where the pothole is located to help us serve you better.  The locations are then forwarded to the Department of Public Service to be scheduled for patching, or
  • Separate from, and in addition to, 311 requests, Department of Public Service crews are routinely deployed to locate and patch potholes.  These deployments are proactive standard practice that works in tandem with 311 requests to find and patch potholes.
 Patching potholes is a City of Columbus priority:
  • The City’s standard:  Potholes are typically patched within three (3) days after a service request is filed with 311 to do so
  • This standard may go beyond three days because of:
  • A very large volume of potholes being reported.  In these instances, the standard is to patch potholes as soon as possible
  • A snow, ice or rain storm prohibits pothole patching
 Columbus’ Pothole Patching crews are responsible for 227 square miles, much more than their counterparts in other Ohio cities:
  • Cleveland:  82 square miles
  • Toledo:  80 square miles
  • Cincinnati:  79 square miles
  • Dayton:  57 square miles
  • Dublin:  26 square miles
  • Grove City:  16.2 square miles
  • Gahanna:  12 square miles
  • Reynoldsburg:  12 square miles
  • Hilliard:  11.5 square miles
  • Upper Arlington:  9.67 square miles
  • Pickerington:  9.58 square miles
  • Worthington:  5 square miles
  • Bexley:  2.5 square miles
 Columbus’ pothole repair crews are responsible for more than 6,300 lane miles of roadway, more than any other Ohio city (or, 2,060 linear miles, approximately the distance between Columbus and Las Vegas)
  • Cleveland:  3,000 lane miles
  • Cincinnati:  2,986 lane miles
  • Toledo:  2,700 lane miles
  • Dayton:  1,600 lane miles
  • Dublin:  502 lane miles
  • Westerville:  409 lane miles
  • Reynoldsburg:  270 lane miles
  • Worthington:  176 lane miles
  • Gahanna:  140 lane miles
 Hot patching potholes
  • During winter, is most effective above freezing (32°).However, hot patch, at 300 degrees, does not bond well with the dramatically colder pavement in cold winter weather, including cold temperatures above freezing The hot patch shrinks away from, and does not conform to, the surrounding asphalt and the contours inside the pothole. Because hot patch does not bond well with a cold pothole and pavement, it is like cold patch:  a temporary fix Therefore, cold patch is typically used during winter months Cold patch is less expensive ($75/ton) than hot patch purchased during the winter from a private vendor ($100/ton)
 Cold patching potholes
  • Cold patch is a temporary fix designed to repair potholes until they can be hot patched during warmer weather in the spring and summer if the cold patched hole reopens
  • Lifespan of a cold patch varies and is affected by traffic volume and speed of the roadway where the cold patch is made

City does have a limited supply of hot patch that it produces in an asphalt recycling machine.
  • The recycled asphalt is the waste asphalt when a street is torn up for resurfacing or reconstruction.
 Total potholes patched
  • 2011:  190,196 potholes patched
  • 2010:  133,517 potholes patched
  • 2009:  114,475 potholes patched
  • 2008:  115,390 potholes patched
  • 2007:    70,183 potholes patched
 Total cost for asphalt (hot mix and cold mix) purchased to patch potholes
  • 2011:  $319,991 (4,313 tons)
  • 2010:  $318,015  (5,126 tons) 
  • 2009:  $355,390.84 (3,893 tons)
  • 2008:  $391,132.73 (4,214 tons)
  • 2007:  $183,910.50 (3,194 tons)
 Tons of hot patch used
  • 2011:  3,209 tons
  • 2010:  4,346 tons 
  • 2009: 3,100 tons
  • 2008: 3,208 tons
  • 2007: 2,636 tons
 Tons of cold patch used
  • 2011: 1,104 tons
  • 2010:    780 tons
  • 2009:    793 tons
  • 2008: 1,006 tons
  • 2007:    558 tons
 Columbus Pothole Patchers have other job responsibilities including, but not limited to:
  • Snow removal
  • Street cleaning
  • Alley surfacing treatment
  • Mowing
  • Underpass cleaning
  • Graffiti removal