pothole problems

Pothole Season Gets Underway

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After snow and ice, there’s another growing problem on the roads this time of the year:  potholes.

“They’re craters. You can see parts of the under structure of the road,” said Marcy Webb of Bloomfield, describing one she had recently seen in West Hartford.

While road crews work to fill them in, damage costs to cars add up to billions of dollars each year according to AAA.

“My daughter broke an axle on a car,” said Laurel Bennettson of West Hartford.

That leads to drivers heading off for repairs including at AAA Tire & Auto Service in Southington.

A mechanic works on a car at AAA Tire & Auto Service in Southington.

“We are already seeing cars come in for pothole related damage to wheels, to steering, suspension setups, sometimes body damage. It’s a lot,” said Tyler Benoit, assistant car care manager.

Benoit said fixes can ring up between several hundred dollars to well over a thousand.

To help prevent car problems in the first place Hartford Public Works Director Michael Looney says his crews scramble to fill the newly created potholes.

“The freeze-thaw cycle is really pretty powerful during weather like this,” said Looney.

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Experts say the best advice is to try to avoid a pothole.

If you can’t, slow down before you hit it and then monitor your car to decide if it needs to be checked out at a shop.

“See if you hear any unusual noises. See if you feel any pulls to the left or the right with the steering wheel or feel any vibrations,” said Benoit.

If you spot a pothole, many communities, including Hartford, have an online system to report it.

Public Works says they aim to get it taken care of in about two days.

“It helps that it's warmer, but I mean the best thing is that it's not snowing anymore and we don't have to focus on plowing and clearing, clearing sidewalks and parking lots,” said Looney.

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