NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Get ready drivers: pothole season is in full swing, and after several weeks of rapidly changing temperatures, snow storms, rain and winds this winter, some roads aren’t looking pretty.
“We’ve had some major snowstorms, some major rain events and some below-freezing weather and that’s the formula for the formation of potholes,” AAA Northeast Spokesperson Robert Sinclair said.
According to Sinclair, AAA Northeast is now getting more than 300 calls a day related to the issue, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
“There’s plenty of potholes,” said Michael Wagshul, of Coney Island.
“Oh I try to avoid them,” said Borough Park resident Lois Getz.
On 51st Street on Manhattan’s west side, the stretch of road from Seventh Avenue to 10th Avenue is filled with uneven stretches of pavement, making a bumpy ride for drivers who have to slow down to avoid risking damage to their vehicles.
“And they rip it up and repave it every couple of weeks it seems like,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “It’s patched with concrete or pavement or whatever — it’s horrible.”
The pavement problems on 51st Street are related to construction projects that have been going on for more than a year now, according to residents.
Tony Giordano told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock he drives a lot but thankfully so far, so good this year.
“I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Maybe after this I’ll have to buy four new tires today,” he said. “I certainly hope not.”
As for vehicles, trucks are the biggest contributor to the pothole problem.
“One truck — believe it or not — does the same damage as 20,000 cars because they are so heavy,” Sinclair said.
More that $15 billion dollars have gone toward fixing damage caused by potholes over the last five years, Sinclair said.
And personal costs for repairs can be pricey too — according to Sinclair, the average cost for repairs on damage done to vehicles by potholes is around $300 and can climb to $700 in the city.
John Sullivan, with One Stop, has had to fix a few tires already this year that were busted by potholes.
But compared to last season, “last season was crazy; I changed seven or eight tires in two hours,” he said.
Numbers from NYC Department of Transportation confirm it was worse during those miserable winters past. Since Jan. 1, the city has repaired 36,100 potholes, compared with 58,961 for the same time period last year; in 2014, they repaired 94,607.
To avoid damage, Sinclair recommends driving slowly in affected areas and keep your tires inflated to help cushion the impact.
“Release the breaks, don’t hit potholes with your breaks…that could cause even more damage,” Sinclair said.