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Pothole season arrives early for Huntsville

Pothole season is upon us, a time of year that is certainly among the most dreaded for Huntsville area drivers.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — In the City of Huntsville, it is pothole season. This has left some drivers with questions as to what the city is actually doing to help fix some of these road conditions. District 4, Huntsville City Council member Bill Kling said, "... once the weather is warm, reasonably dry, the public works department is going to be doing a record amount of road repair, road resurfacing, being pothole repair throughout the city. We're talking about $19.5 million, which is the most that's ever been spent in this area." 

Councilman Kling said they are receiving emails, complaints, and concerns about streets all over the city. "It's not limited just to one area. The Public Works Department has done some small temporary cold patch repairs, but basically, they're waiting for this warm weather to get here, get past spring rain, to work on this," he continued.

Although potholes are all over the city, Councilman Kling also said,"...there's a new feature. It's on the city website. It's called See, Click and Fix." So how does, See, Click, Fix work? "It lets people report potholes, damage street areas, damage speed humps, whatever. And then the public works department gets it and they automatically have it in their computer. And when they have crews in that area, then they can address that problem," he stated." Councilman Kling said residents tend to like this feature,"... because they may not want to call their council member at 3:00 in the morning, but they can go to that website while they're surfing the internet and they can just report that and it automatically goes to the appropriate department. And then that way they will get it taken care of when they have crews in that area," Councilman Kling continued.

Auto experts know that potholes are not only annoying, but they can do real damage. Firestone Complete Auto Care store manager Al Green said his technicians have noticed an uptick in pothole damages. "You can see the wheel damage," he said, examining one damaged car. "You can see the rip in here. You can see the bend here, and as you can see that little crack there. That's not going to do anything but expand. It's not going to do anything but get worse. Okay, here, the tire won't even seal," Green explained. 

When you feel that jolt, do not ignore it. "The longer you go, could cause more damage in the long run," he said.

As to road resurfacing, the Public Works Department has engineers that go out every two years and survey every street in the city. "They will come up with a ranking where basically the money goes into the worst condition streets first, and then they go on from there. As far as potholes and those types of repairs, that's done all over the city on an ongoing basis," Kling said.


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