Morning commuters get flat tires from pothole on I-77 northbound

A large pothole on I-77 northbound near Copley Road caused delays for morning commuters and multiple flat tires.

According to Akron police, a large pothole caused seven to eight cars to have flat tires Friday morning.

The pothole was in the center lane, which caused delays for drivers as crews tried to remove the vehicles from the road.

It was later patched, but it was too little too late for some drivers. 

Before the sun came up, the 911 calls came pouring in.

"I have to get a tow because there's a big pothole. I don't know what lane it's in," said one caller.

"There's a giant pothole busting everybody's tires," said another. "There's like about eight cars on the side of the highway from the same pothole on 77."

Russ Bennett was one of the unlucky ones. 

He had recently put new tires on his Chevy Impala. But today, he's using a spare and forking over $200 to replace a punctured tire. 

"You see the pothole. It comes up real quick and it's like you can't swerve left or right because you've got cars," he said. "Everybody was merging over because they wanted to keep you away from potholes except this pothole was three, so yeah, it's that hard thud."

He saw at least seven drivers in the same pothole predicament. 

"It was a very dangerous, the number of cars, the speed that everybody travels in the morning," he said. 

City of Akron crews responded to patch up the potholes but Bennett feels the highway needed attention before the mess.

"In my situation, absolutely, especially it was a nice day yesterday," he said. "You would have hoped they would have been able to get out."

City officials said the freeze/thaw cycle breaks down asphalt and a big pothole can be created in a matter of minutes.

The city added, this time of year, Akron typically has multiple expressway crews doing patching work. 

Still, Bennett feels the City of Akron should reimburse him for his new tire and he said he will file a claim with the city's law department. 
RELATED: Concerned drivers upset about Cleveland's choices for road repaving

News 5 has uncovered numerous problems plaguing streets across Northeast Ohio. This latest pothole mess is just another example of how the problem effects everyday drivers on a daily basis. 

The complete pothole investigation series can be found here.

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