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Ogdensburg potholes may get worse before they get better

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It could be May before Ogdensburg’s streets are clear of potholes caused by this year’s unusually cold weather and the associated frost heaves.

City Manager John M. Pinkerton said the recent warm weather has allowed weaker sections of pavement to crack open and get torn up by city plows and traffic.

“It’s really done damage to the roads,” Mr. Pinkerton said of the weather conditions.

City Department of Public Works Supervisor Gregg E. Harland said the department is doing what it can to keep up with pot holes that require immediate attention. Temporary “rough road” signs have been placed along streets that are particularly problematic.

Mr. Harland said crews were out over the weekend driving around to find and patch potholes.

“It’s something we’re going to have to keep going over and over,” he said.

The worst-hit city roads are Greene and Paterson streets, Mr. Harland said, though he noted that State Street is in tough shape as well, with state Department of Transportation crews filling in potholes Monday.

Friday’s rain exacerbated the city’s pothole problems, Mr. Harland said, and the department is taking advantage of the brief period of warmer weather to fill in holes.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are supposed to drop back into the teens, with a possibility of snow for the rest of the week.

Mr. Harland said it’s too early to tell if this year is worse than earlier years for potholes.

Mr. Pinkerton said he doesn’t think the worst is over.

“As we go through the thaws and freezing, it’s going to get worse,” he said. “Once we’re into the spring we’ll be able to address this.”

Mr. Pinkerton said the city doesn’t have a cost estimate on for repairing roads yet, but he suspects that it will be substantial.

At Monday’s City Council meeting Councilor Michael D. Morley said, “People will have to put up with it until we can get it fixed.”

Mayor William D. Nelson praised the city Department of Public Works for their efforts to minimize the impact of the potholes.

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