Caution: damage to your car ahead

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“Funding for road replacement has been low” - Bill Conklin

“Funding for road replacement has been low” – Bill Conklin

By Alexia Rodarmer
The Meridian Times

Imagine you’re on your way to work and you’re driving down a bumpy road, nothing you’re not used to. All of a sudden, you hit a huge pothole.

Luckily, you were able to drive over it without getting stuck, but then you feel a slight vibration in your car.  Chances are you damaged your car’s suspension or you dented your rims.  Either way, you know you have to get your car repaired and you’re going to be losing money.

Depending on the severity  of the damage to your car, getting your vehicle repaired after a run-in with a pothole can be quite costly.

According to WUSA9’s website, as of February 24, 2014, pothole damage repairs cost U.S. drivers about $6.4 billion.

Connor Tracy, manager at Belle Tire in Meridian Township, said that the shop sees people come in with pothole damage to their car “several times a day.”

He said the most common issue people have with their car after having a run-in with a pothole is damage to their tires and the car’s suspension.

“Depending on the severity, fixing a car’s suspension can cost up to $500-$600.  If the tires on the car are bulged, we have to replace them and that can cost $150-$200,” said Tracy.

To most drivers, having to drive over potholes can be quite irritating.  For driver Julia Fradette, having to deal with potholes while driving is the last thing on her to-do list.  “I think the potholes are annoying,” said Fradette.  “It shows that the state isn’t using our tax dollars wisely.  Sometimes it causes damage to my car and I have to pay for the damages.  It just isn’t acceptable to me.”

Managing Director Bill Conklin with Ingham County  road department said that “funding for road replacement has been low” and that the road department has been doing all that they can to prevent extreme damage to the roads.

Conklin said that the department tries to “prioritize roads based on their traffic volume.”  The higher the volume on a damaged road, the more likely they will repair it.
“Ideally, we don’t want to have to do major work on the roads, so we will do a chip seal around every 5-7 years,” said Conklin.  “If all preventative measures have been taken, we will do a full road rehabilitation every 15 years.”

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