Potholes Mount Vernon Walmart Supercenter
A pothole overseen in the Mount Vernon Walmart Supercenter on Thursday Aug. 31, 2023. Potholes have been a longstanding nuisance for Walmart shoppers. A Knox Pages reader asked us to see if and when the potholes will be filled? Credit: Grant Ritchey / Knox Pages

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is in response to a reader-submitted question through Open Source, a platform where readers can submit questions to the staff.

MOUNT VERNON — Some of those who venture to Walmart Supercenter on Coshocton Avenue have described dodging an obstacle course of potholes scattered across the parking lot.

Potholes and bumps can also be found at the entrance/exit road that connects Walmart Supercenter, Panera Bread and Aldi. Access Road LLC, the owner of the roadway, 1455 Coshocton Rd P.O. Box 1065, according to the Knox Auditor’s Office website.

Black pavement with yellow strips overlapping.
A recently paved parking lot at Walmart Supercenter in Mount Vernon. Credit: Grant Ritchey

Access Road LLC didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. 

When questioned about the timing and plans for fixing the potholes at Walmart Supercenter, Walmart’s Director of Communications, Felicia McCranie, stated, “We acknowledge the problem and are actively working to resolve it as swiftly as we can.”

Pavement work has begun on Walmart’s parking lots. Knox Pages did not receive comment from the Walmart communications team when the pavement work started.

How are potholes created?

Potholes emerge through the expansion and contraction of water beneath the pavement. When water infiltrates the ground beneath the road and subsequently freezes, its expansion exerts pressure on the pavement, leading to cracks and fragmentation.

Upon the thawing of the ice, the pavement retains depressions in the road surface, giving rise to what we commonly recognize as potholes, according to the Summit County engineering office.

If the pavement isn’t treated once the holes emerge, the hole can get deeper with every freeze. 

“As the weight of cars and trucks pass over the weak spot in the road, pieces of the roadway material weaken, which will cause the material to be displaced or bokeh down from the weight, creating the pothole,” according to Summit County’s engineering website, and putting salt on icy surfaces to prevent vehicles and pedestrians from skidding generates an artificial pattern of freezing and thawing.

This unintentionally paves the way for an increased frequency of the detrimental freeze-thaw process.

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I am a Report For America corps member at Knox Pages. I report on public education in the county as well as workforce development. I first landed at Knox Pages in June 2022.