Pothole season is here and we're getting the sense that the craters you see out there are just the beginning of the problem.
City of Erie streets crews took advantage of the dry sunny day to get out and at least put temporary "cold patch" in the worst of the holes.
According to Streets Bureau Chief Chuck Zysk, patching crews will be working all three shifts around the clock.
But for some drivers the potholes have already taken a toll on their tires, rims and suspensions and the tire eating potholes may only get worse.
Dias Spring Service repair shop is already busy. "Right now it's fully underway," said Ken Dias. "We've had a lot of damage, a lot of potholes, a lot of bent rims, blown out tires, a lot of suspension damage and a lot of rust damage this year," added Dias.
We found one driver in for her second flat tire and bent rim. Kalie Zamierowski said, "Both times I drove, realized my tire was flat, I think the first time it was because of a pothole, I know the second time it was because of a pothole."
The streets chief is out surveying all 300 miles of Erie streets. He says because of the deep frost, possibly as much as four feet deep, the full wrath of the frigid winter has not been revealed yet. But clearly some streets are in need of major repairs. "It's really hard to judge right now," said Chuck Zysk, "there's still a lot of frost in the roads, but this harsh winter's really taken its toll on some of the local roadways."
The patching underway is temporary. The asphalt plant for hot patching is expected to open in mid April. The city has already put out to bid its first repair contract of the year.
Zysk wants city residents to call the streets garage and report the location of serious potholes, the number is 870-1340.
We will be on pothole patrol too. If you have a big one in your neighborhood, tell us about it on our WICU WSEE Your News Team Facebook page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com We'll feature some of the doozies on the news.