CORNING - After a long, cold winter, the City of Corning and the entire Southern Tier is finally seeing spring-like temperatures, and potholes - a lot of potholes.

City Manager Mark Ryckman said city Department of Public Works crews have been out filling potholes throughout the winter and early spring months, but permanent repairs will be made once the weather gets a little warmer.

“We are filling potholes on a limited basis with cold patch until the asphalt plants are open this spring season,” Ryckman said. “We prefer to use a hot mix, which is longer lasting.”

Larry Wagner, city Superintendent of Public Works, said up and down temperatures and lots of groundwater issues throughout the city have caused potholes to really start to come out, and that will only continue in the coming months. 

“We use the cold patch year round,” Wagner said. “It’s the only thing we can do, but it’s not as good as hot patch. We use the cold patch to keep things going until the hot patch plants open likely in mid-April.”

Potholes form when water seeps into cracks in roads, then freezes and expands, pushing the pavement upward, officials said. When vehicles run over that crumbling surface, it can collapse and chip away in pieces. Heavy plows and the corrosive salt and brine used to prime streets for plowing can add to the problem.

Local officials are warning motorists to watch out while driving because pothole season, which annually begins in March, is here.

“Potholes are coming out for sure, but hopefully we are gaining on the roads not being in as bad shape as they have been in the past from the new city paving program,” Wagner said. “We’ve tried to pick-away at the bad roads, so you’re not trying to catch you tail all of the time.”