Much of the snow has melted away from Michiana’s roads, but there’s another problem for drivers to complain about—potholes.
Drivers have been clinching their steering wheels and praying that the bumpy and hole-riddled streets won’t pop a tire.
Discount Tire on Michigan St. in South Bend was packed with customers seeking new and repaired tires for their cars. Manager Eric Emmons said it’s good for business, but it’s not necessarily the type of business they like to see.
“We want our customers to wear their tires out with normal miles, but we don’t want to see damaged tires—that’s not the way we want to do business,” Emmons added. Some of the tires flatted by potholes are salvageable, others need to be tossed out and replaced.
Justin Szucsics is a Discount Tire customer that fell into the category of needing a total replacement. Thursday night he said his tire completely “exploded” as he was driving along Sample St. He saw a puddle that covered a pothole but was unable to swerve out of the way in time.
Szucsics said he was saving up to replace all four tires on his car, but pothole troubles forced him to replace them early.
Road crews from city, county and state street departments are working day and night to try to fix as much of the roads as possible, but drivers say they haven’t been able to keep up with the sheer volume of holes.
South Bend street department was out in full force Friday. The maximum of six crews were out and about filling holes with cold patches of asphalt. It is a temporary fix, however it’s the best any street crew can do until spring.
Indiana Dept. of Transportation (INDOT) reported “dozen upon dozen” of crews working in 13 counties. In the Mishawaka-South Bend area INDOT worked on repairing parts of SR 23, SR 33 south of the US-20 bypass and SR2. INDOT representative Matt Deitchley said crews have faced a number of challenges this winter.
“It’s not uncommon for a whole day’s work to be virtually destroyed by an overnight freeze-thaw process,” said Deitchley.
Workers cannot repair roads in the rain because too much moisture can further damage the roads.