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Often while hitting the road the road hits back

Fri, Apr 25th, 2014
Posted in All Features

Taken on Fillmore County Road 15 outside of Preston, Minn. on Wednesday, April 23. Photo by Barb Jeffers

Spring is in the air and potholes are in the road once again this year. The irritating but unavoidable potholes are caused when water enters the ground under the pavement and then expands when it becomes frozen. When the water thaws the pavement contracts. This back and forth expansion and contraction weakens the pavement causing potholes which are worsened by the weight of traffic on the roadway.

The next time you hit a large pothole and think “that can’t be good” remember the following advice from Steve Huper of Steve’s Auto located in Chatfield, Minn. Steve has over ten years experience and has seen the damage that can be done to vehicles from potholes. According to Steve hitting a pothole, and many potholes over a long period, can break a belt in your tire, cause your shocks to fail, or cause a coil spring or leaf spring to break. Potholes can wear out suspension components such as ball joints and tie rod ends also so if you travel a road with many potholes it is wise to have your vehicle inspected for this type of damage.

Fillmore County Engineer Ronald Gregg states that this year in Fillmore County the major focus will be repairing potholes in the city portions of the county system as these are higher traffic roads where a lot of potholes are located.

Mr. Gregg states that how they set priority for fixing potholes is by having crews on the lookout for potholes and fixing them as they find them and also from phone calls by county residents making the Highway Department aware of certain potholes. Ronald Gregg states that sometimes after the snowplowing season the county does not encounter certain potholes but when notified by a resident of an issue they will then address that area.

Like many other things potholes are a fact of life and sometimes the only thing we can do when a pothole sneaks up on us is grimace, hold our breath, and hope for the best. The beneficial next step for your vehicle is to have it inspected for damage until next year’s pothole season arrives.

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