AAA report: Cities nationwide struggling to keep up with growing number of potholes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Drivers may have a tougher time dodging potholes this time of year because cities across the country can't keep up with the on-going problem, according to a report from AAA.

"We've had so many episodes of bad winter weather, and each time we have a freeze cycle it creates more potholes," said John Townsend, the manager of Public and Government Affairs of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Townsend warns that motorists will spend nearly $5 billion on car repairs from damage caused by potholes.

Despite AAA's report, Kansas City says its pothole numbers have remained relatively stable.

According Sean Demory of the Public Works Department, city crews patched 4,200 potholes between Oct. 1, 2013 and Jan. 31, 2014.  During the same time period last year, city crews patched 4,236, a change of less than 1 percent.

It's a different story at Hyde Park Auto Service.

Owner Tom Keegan said he's been flooded with customers who have damaged their cars by driving through potholes.

"We've seen a lot of tire problems from people hitting pot holes recently," Keegan said. "We usually put on two tires a day. We're putting on 12 this morning."

Keegan said the price of hitting a pothole can get pretty steep.

"It is common for someone to hit a pothole and need a tire, need a wheel, need a wheel-alignment and maybe a tired rod in, which might run $500 to $600."

Demory said the city as crew patching potholes even during the winter months. Workers will use a cold mix as a temporary fix and will add a more permanent solution once the weather gets warmer.

 

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