Friday, March 13, 2015

EDITORIAL >> Big potholes plague area

How bad are the potholes right now?

“I’ve driven or been driven in Newton County, Belize, Mexico, Greece and Kathmandu, and the potholes on Hwy. 67/167 at Jacksonville are probably the worst I’ve seen,” Leader senior staff writer John Hofheimer said.

Drivers were having enough trouble navigating the construction zones with plenty of lead-footed motorists. Now they are struggling to zigzag through hundreds of potholes within just a few miles. The rain has not made it any easier.

The road crew in charge of widening and replacing overpasses on Hwy. 67/167 between Redmond Road and North First Street began by repaving the highway to provide drivers some comfort during the lengthy project. This stretch of highway is among the worst in the state.

Now, the snow and ice has taken its toll on the roads. Much of the temporary resurfacing is chipping away, and the conditions seem worse than ever.

Commuters cringe every time their vehicles plop over a pothole, fearing they’ll have to pay hundreds of dollars in repairs.

The state Highway Department told us Friday the potholes are being fixed now.

In the meantime, here are some tips from AAA about how to brave the roads out there:

1. Check that your tires have enough tread and have enough air.

2. Ensure that your vehicle’s shock absorbers are OK.

3. Look out for potholes while driving. Keep in mind that swerving to avoid them, especially in a construction zone, can be dangerous.

4. Slow down in areas where you know there are a lot of potholes. (Yes, you, too, Hwy. 67/167 speed racers.)

5. Watch out for puddles because the water will obscure the depths of the potholes.

6. After hitting a big one, take your car to the shop to have your alignment checked and be aware of unusual noises after hitting a pothole.

Good luck out there, drivers.