Pothole season in full swing: Why you’ll want to avoid hitting them, what to do if you can’t avoid one

Connecticut

(WTNH) — We are still in February and already pothole season is rearing its ugly head. It’s a little earlier than normal this year, and with winter not over yet, we have a look at the problem.

It doesn’t look like much, just a small crack in the pavement, but that’s all the water needs to get in there, freeze, and open it up into a pothole.

Kevin Nursick with the Department of Transportation said, “When the snow melts in the liquid start spreading across the roadways into the cracks and crevices, that tends to open things up a bit.”

From state highways to the local roads, street crews are already out repairing pothole damage.

Annie Savage knows the pothole pain first hand. 

“It went boop down into the hole, and my husband was upset…These potholes are just ridiculous the way we keep hitting them…Some of them do a lot of damage. We are lucky we didn’t get too much damage; it was just a tire.”

AAA says those bone-jarring, teeth-rattling thumps cost Americans billions of dollars a year. At Turnpike Motors Autobody in Newington, they say repairs can cost a couple of hundred dollars for a tire to thousands for a new axle or bumper.

Dan Hovey of Turnpike Motors Autobody explained, “We are seeing a lot of suspension work from people driving over potholes.”

So if you do hit a pothole, mechanics say there are a few things you should be looking for: vibrations in the steering, or a wobble, or a loose front end. They also say just check to see how well it steers.

And keep something else in mind, if you do have some front-end damage or damage to your car it may be a while before they can get parts because of COVID-19.

Hovey said, “Parts manufacturing has been delayed. Ford right now is having a massive problem with 68,000 unique part numbers that are all on backorder; it’s creating a lot of problems from a repair standpoint.”

So keep in mind, it could be weeks not days to get your car or truck back on the road. And DOT warns, pothole seasonal isn’t over until the temperatures stay at or above freezing.

Nursick, “We still have a little ways to go for this winter, and unfortunately there will be more opportunity for potholes to form.”

To report a pothole, some towns have apps like in Hartford where they have had crews out daily fixing the potholes, trying to keep out ahead of the freeze-thaw.

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