Official: Wet winter makes potholes even worse

Official: Wet winter makes potholes even worse

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Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

It's not the way Emily Bridges had planned on spending a couple hundred dollars.

"My air pressure light immediately went on and brought it in and the tire was just completely ripped," said Bridges.

Bridges hit a pothole on front of Alabama Outdoors on Highway 31 on her way home Tuesday.

She took it to Tire Engineers to get it fixed, a place that sees its fare share of pothole problems.

"I've been in this business for quite a while so it's something that I've seen the entire length of my career," said store manager Greg Mashburn.

Mashburn said he gets a call involving pothole damage almost every day.

Birmingham city and Jefferson County officials said this year they're becoming more of a problem because of the wet winter. Water seeps into cracks in the asphalt and can actually help break apart the material.

"There's a lot more potholes out there and as long as it keeps raining the potholes are going to continue to grow," said Jefferson County Road and Transportation Director Wayne Sullivan.

Sullivan said in years past crews would patrol problematic areas on a daily basis, spending on average $10,000 a month to repair the potholes.

But that's not feasible these days.

"Before the financial woes for the county we patched potholes every day. We had a truck at each camp that patched pot holes every day. We don't have the manpower to do that anymore," said Sullivan.

Since all of the potholes can't be repaired in one day there are measures drivers can take to reduce the damage.

"If you know you're going to hit it just keep your wheel straight and just go ahead and make the impact. Don't try to avoid it by swerving," said Mashburn.

If you do see a pothole the best thing is to report it in the jurisdiction it's in. If you happen to hit a pothole call the area's road and transportation department to see if it's already been reported.

If it has you may be compensated for the damage.

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