Let's face it. Because of where we live, we'll never stop dealing with potholes. However, a couple of former Case Western Reserve University students call their new idea a better way to lessen the bumps.
"I've had flat tires already," said David Yeu.
"I had a Cadillac that died because of undercarriage failure from hitting potholes,” said Chim Okoye.
Yeu and Okoye are co-founders of their company Yeu Patch, LLC. The idea all started as a group of four students at Case working on a project to soften rim rattling potholes.
"(They took) an old backpack, cutting the straps and then they filled it with corn starch and water," said Yeu. They placed the bag in the pothole and Yeu said it actually helped with the “thumpers.”
After several prototypes, they developed black bags filled with a secret gel that absorbs the shocks of potholes.
We tested it on the now infamous Terrace Road in East Cleveland. Our car hit a pothole pretty hard without the patch. Then, when the Yeu Patch is placed in the pothole, we could barely feel the bump.
"The concept was based on Silly Putty,” Okoye told us. “But as we went further with our testing, we realized that we kind of came up with something that is completely our own."
It's a temporary fix until road crews are ready for a more permanent solution. Workers can then just pick them up and use them again elsewhere.
The patches can be placed in dips in the middle of roads and even driveways that have cranky craters.
Can the bags withstand a snow plow coming through? "(The patches have) abrasion resistance and also kind of skid resistance as well. So it really stays in there,” said Yeu.
The guys told us so far Summit, Geauga, and Montgomery counties have pre-orders for the U-Patches. Yeu and Okoye are also working with various Ohio cities and plan demonstrations for municipalities in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Kentucky.
"Our main goal is to make the streets safer for everyone,” said Okoye.
And they serve another purpose. "I'm quite sick of hitting potholes,” said Yeu.
The Yeu Patches will start being available in December of this year.