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Milder weather allowing for more road work

WBFO News file photo

Commuters should begin seeing crews out there fixing potholes but the work will appear different because there will be steam coming off the patch. With area asphalt plants starting to open, permanent road repairs can begin.

All winter, drivers have seen cold patch going into the endlessly increasing supply of potholes. Not only is cold patch expensive, it doesn't hold up very long but does fill up the hole temporarily.

Hot patch is much cheaper and far more permanent. Asphalt plants opening also allows work to begin on major road and street repaving projects and there are a lot on this year's lists. 

Erie County Engineering Director Charles Sickler said the county still doesn't have a complete list of weather damage.

"To finalize the list of ...road paving work is probably still a week or two away," Sickler said.

"Some of the homeowners, property owners may probably notice their sidewalks in some areas are still up a little bit higher, are a little bit uneven means there is still frost and frozen ground underneath."

Sickler said workers would rather use the hot patch for the repairs because it means they can move on permanently. Some towns are starting to use hot patch on town highways because they also are dealing with long lists of winter damage to the roads and bridges.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.