Drivers dodge potholes across the metro

February 23, 2019 06:26 PM

The record-breaking snow and cold is taking a toll on roads in the metro. Drivers dodged potholes on Saturday after warmer temperatures melted snow and ice.

“I’ve seen quite a bit delivering out here in St. Paul and Minneapolis,” said Edward Smith, a delivery driver. “Usually it’s right around this time where everything is melting, you start seeing more of them showing up.”

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“I’m not liking it but, you know, this is Minnesota for you,” he said.

Karen Gustafson, of South Minneapolis, said she noticed them as she drove on Interstate 35W North.

“There’s quite a few potholes right along the side of the lane, I probably look like I'm a little tipsy because I swerve to avoid them,” said Gustafson. “I’ve seen quite a few, but not as many on the side streets as I have in the past.”

Green Line Auto Service and Tire Manager Ralph Johnson said it’s still early in the season to see pothole repairs.

It can be an expensive fix.

“The wheels sometimes will bend, sometimes will crack, we had one earlier this week,” said Johnson.

They've been getting more calls from people who say their car is vibrating.

“At 20 or 30 miles an hour, you may not feel it,” he said. “Sixty miles an hour, with five to six ounces, it'll knock your teeth out.”

He said five to seven ounces of snow can become packed on and around tires.

“Early this week, we saw four, five cars in with snow packed up behind the wheel,” said Johnson. “The heat of the wheel will melt that snow, turn it into ice, then ice sticks onto an aluminum wheel or steel wheel.”

There’s very little drivers can do to prevent this other than avoiding snow banks and visiting a car wash, he said. 

“We get the cars in, get them up in the air, get a ratchet or a wrench and we knock the ice out and then send them on their way,” he said.

If debris comes off a vehicle and causes a crash, the driver could face a citation from the Minnesota State Patrol. Troopers can also fine drivers who don’t clear off their vehicles or those who have restricted visibility because of snow and ice on their car.

It could cost drivers up to $100.

State Patrol said on Twitter that they’ve seen a 39 percent increase in cars going off the roads this year.

They are warning drivers to slow down.

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Credits

Callan Gray

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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