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Potholes Damaging Cars

Updated: Thursday, February 20 2014, 10:46 AM CST
Potholes are giving Springfield drivers a bumpy ride and auto repair shops plenty of business.   

The frequent thawing and freezing this winter has left the city with numerous potholes, which have translated into an increase in repairs.

Newschannel 20 called several auto repair shops Wednesday who almost all said they had seen an increase in pothole-related damage since the snow began melting. An employee at one shop simply laughed said that was all they had been doing for the past two days.

The owner of Jack Stoldt Auto Service, Stephen Kuntzi, told us he's mostly seen bent rims and other tire issues, which can be very expensive.

"This wheel's $300, the tire's $125," Kuntzi said, gesturing at one of the cars in his shop. "The time you get tax and everything else, he spent $500 hitting a pothole this morning."

Kuntzi says he believes he's seen more repairs like this than he has other years because it has been such a bad winter. In addition to busted wheels and tires, the potholes can throw a car's steering out of alignment. In turn that can  quickly wear down the tires.

There are more potholes than the city expected this year, said Mike Dirksen, the operations director at the Public Works garage. Crews have been out trying to fill them in, but that's a "never-ending" job, he said.

Patches can only do so much and aren't a permanent fix anyways. Public Works Director Mark Mahoney has said repaving projects through the city's new infrastructure program should help make permanent fixes later this year.

Most of the city's potholes are in the outside lane where the water runs off the road. So driving closer to the center line could help you avoid the repair shop.
Potholes Damaging Cars

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