FLINT, MI – For some, driving through Flint compares to navigating an obstacle course as drivers try to dodge potholes on city streets.
City of Flint officials say they are set to tackle Flint’s pothole issue that is plaguing drivers after the city’s winter months.
“We have already started patching potholes per the plan and will continue to patch until the frost is out of the ground,” said Flint Director of Public Works, Rob Bincsik, in a February 22, 2018 press release. “We expect this ‘pothole season’ to be fairly severe since there is approximately three feet of frost in the ground right now.”
Crews have been assigned to major streets first including Saginaw Street, Dupont Avenue, Atherton Road, Robert T. Longway Boulevard and Flushing Road.
Once potholes on major streets have been repaired plans call for crews to be deployed to other areas in the city.
“We know potholes can be a nuisance to say the least,” said Flint Interim Director of Transportation, Betty Wideman. “Currently, we have all available crews out patching on the major streets. We will also be working on Saturdays as the weather allows. As crews are patching, they will also be backfilling any holes from the lead service line replacements that have sunk or settled.”
In addition to major street crews, crewmembers and trainees will be deployed to handle daily pothole complaints and canvass streets for pothole repairs.
Potholes commonly occur when the winter weather pattern consists of freeze-thaw cycles. As the ground expands and contracts from groundwater that enters the pavement, the pavement is weakened. Coupled with frequent and/or heavy traffic the asphalt eventually cracks creating a pothole.
In 2016, AAA reported that drivers pay an estimated $3 billion per year in pothole damage to vehicles nationwide.
Potholes can cause a number of issues including tire and suspension damage to vehicles.
Flint residents can report potholes in need of repair by calling the Street Maintenance Division at (810) 766-7343.
Crews are set to repair potholes throughout Flint. So far, the deployment is as follows:
Area 1: Carpenter Rd. to Robert T. Longway – West City Limit to Saginaw St.
Area 2: Carpenter Rd. to Robert T. Longway – Saginaw St. to East City Limit
Area 3: Robert T. Longway to Hemphill – West City Limit to East City Limit
How can you protect yourself—and your vehicle—from potholes?
- Make a habit of checking your tires for proper inflation – this is your best protection, as a tire is the primary “cushion” between a pothole and your vehicle’s wheels and suspension.
- Be wary of puddles that may conceal potholes.
- Check your surroundings for collision threats before attempting to dodge a pothole.
- If you simply cannot avoid a pothole, slow down, but release the brakes and straighten the steering wheel just before impact to help minimize any damage.
- When you’re behind the wheel, eliminate distractions and look ahead for roadway hazards.
- Always maintain a safe distance from other vehicles around you
(Source: AAA Living)