Shelby: So, lately does your ride to school feel more like you are off-roading? Well, it is all those potholes! They are bumpy, they are annoying, they are dangerous, and they are popping up everywhere thanks to the cold weather. Demetrius Pipkin has the story.
Demetrius: Spring can’t come soon enough for the nation’s roads. The extreme cold and snow have been chipping away at the roads, creating potholes all across the country. In Indianapolis, Governor Mike Pence is ordering crews to work around the clock to battle the problem.
Governor Mike Pence: We are initiating a plan that will involve alternating 12-hour shifts, supplemental crews and additional hours.
Demetrius: In New York City, over 117,000 potholes have already been filled. That is more potholes than there were the past two years combined.
Wally Wolfe: This is a temporary patch that could last a couple of weeks and we’ll be back out again.
Demetrius: It is a problem made worse this year by polar vortexes, those Arctic blasts of freezing air that stretched as far south as Atlanta. A pothole forms when water from melting snow and ice seeps into the pavement, freezes and then expands. When the ice melts, there are gaps in the pavement, and passing vehicles cause it to break up. And with more cold weather in the forecast, road workers have no choice but to keep on filling.
Albert Mercado: The whole thing you’ve got to keep in mind is public safety.
Demetrius: One in four cars pulling into this repair shop needs at least a new tire because of pothole damage.
Shop worker: We’re also seeing an increase in damaged rims, and that runs the customer a lot more.
Demetrius: Which is bad news because these dented roads will be leaving a huge dent in drivers’ wallets. The American Automobile Association, AAA, estimates that motorist here in the U.S. will pay out nearly $6.4 billion this year in pothole damages.
Shelby, back to you.