If you started spending your mornings weaving around holes in the road, just know it’ll only get worse. Pothole season is finally here and off to a terrible start.
Feels like these suckers popped up in abundance overnight. Like a bad case of acne.
You know what, I present a motion to call potholes “road acne” from now on. Sound good?
Anyways, NBC Connecticut reports that the warming weather created the rapidly deteriorating road conditions. Also, the mild winter certainly didn’t help. In fact, it accelerated pothole season. The constant freezing, thawing, and refreezing made it significantly worse.
DOT crews say that, despite their best efforts, more and more potholes keep showing up, essentially creating an unending game of whack-a-mole.
Which means our wallets will suffer an even mightier blow this season. Better start saving now while you can.
However, mechanics say that even if you do have the cash to repair your car, you’ll have to wait. Auto body shops around the state say this season is already keeping them busy.
So, if you hit a pothole and get a flat, you may have to wait in line. On top of that, due to the deepness of the holes, auto repair shops reported a rise in suspension damage.
That said, if you know hitting a pothole is inevitable, the best thing to do is slow down. Hitting the brakes sets you up for an even worse accident.
Slowing down helps mitigate the damage.
Also, AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter, suggest steering clear of the right side of the road. That’s where most potholes disguise themselves as puddles.
Also, AAA estimates that pothole season costs Americans about $3 billion a year. Since this season came so ridiculously early, it might cost us even more.
So, that’s why towns across CT implemented new strategies to tackle their bad case of road acne.
Wilton Bulletin reports that the town launched an app that allows people to directly report potholes. The app is “SeeClickFix,” and it even allows residents to include a photo of the pothole.
Basically, if someone sees a pothole, they log onto the town of Wilton’s website to report it. It gives residents a direct line to those who take care of the road, therefore drawing immediate attention to the problem area.
However, despite the best intention of the state municipalities, it might not be enough.
CT Mirror reports that the transportation crisis might affect the rehabilitation of the roads. Governor Malloy said he hasn’t released $30 million in the Town Aid Roads grant because of the budgetary problems. Although, to be fair, he has until June 30th to release the funds.
He also added that the money may become available when legislators stabilize the special transportation fund. Which means, yes everyone, our government is twisting our collective arms to make us accept all those tolls and rail fare hikes.
Good to know our lawmakers resorted to ransom, huh? Then again, this always happens. They bully the taxpayers and impact their quality of life until they acquiesce to their demands.
Anyways, the Town Aid Roads grant, called TAR, helps cities and towns fund their infrastructure. Cutting TAR causes municipalities to shelve local road projects, such as patching potholes.
However, this move called a valuable ally to the money-strapped tax payer’s side, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.
CCM lambasted the move:
“Local governments have long depended on TAR grants, so when TAR is cut, local road projects are shelved – meaning jobs are lost and costs of repairs will be even higher when finally undertaken. Shortchanging TAR is pennywise and pound-foolish.”
Chris McClure, spokesman for the governor’s budget office countered that releasing the funds would be foolish since the state already shelved $4.3 billion in transportation projects. It’s all because the Special Transportation Fund, the account our lawmakers love to raid when cash runs thin, might become insolvent by 2020.
“We are optimistic that we will be able to act on the additional TAR funding later this spring once the legislature has taken needed steps to strengthen the Special Transportation Fund to provide a sustainable and predictable path forward for Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure.”
Sure, municipalities still have some money left over from TAR grants that were disbursed in January. However, it might cause cities and towns to choose which pothole deserves patching first.
So, with that said, this season looks a bit rougher than years prior. Drive smart and keep your eyes peeled during pothole season because your wallet depends on it.
How bad is the road acne in your area? How is your city/town handling pothole season? More importantly, what should our officials do to keep us from shoveling money into fixing our cars because of a problem they created?