March 16, 2015 |
For Heather Redfern, a trip to the Target store turned out to be far costlier than she planned. On the way home from the store, near the Neshaminy Mall, in Bucks County, she had an unfortunate encounter with that late-winter nemesis - the pothole. "Some of them you hit, and you just cringe and hope nothing bad happened to your car," said Redfern, who works in SEPTA's media-relations department. In this case, hope wasn't enough. Redfern needed a new tire, wheel, and valve stem - for $550.
August 24, 2014 |
Summer is coming to a close, but some of the region's road crews might be wondering if last winter is ever going to end. "We're still in the midst of treating roads that suffered extensive damage during the winter," said Eugene Blaum, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. From Dec. 1 through Aug. 14, he said, PennDot used 15,922 tons of patching material on the region's roads - about double what it used during the comparable periods in the previous two years combined.
May 28, 2014 |
Like many Philadelphians, Paul Pettet spent much of Friday and Saturday, the unofficial first weekend of summer, driving. Except Pettet wasn't headed for the Shore or the Poconos. The 27-year city Streets Department employee was pushing on the gas pedal with his salt-stained work boots, guiding a six-wheel patcher truck down East Luzerne Street in the Juniata Park section, patching up the wounds of a brutal winter: the potholes. Philadelphia's second-snowiest winter on record (68 inches of snowfall)
May 4, 2014 |
Readers' communications come in a mixed mailbag. Most ask questions. Others offer opinions. Some of the letters are complimentary, others not so much. I took a particular pounding for this opening paragraph of a recent column: "There was a time when the full-size pickup truck was largely blue-collar transit with a blue-collar price tag. As it turns out, that nostalgic note has gone the way of whitewalls, wire wheel hubcaps, and moderate Republicans. " I thought the reference to "moderate Republicans" was at once innocuous and factual, since the rise of the tea parties has left a number of moderate Republican lawmakers by the wayside.
March 24, 2014 |
ONLY ABOUT once every 30 years does Philadelphia see the kind of winter just past, with 19 separate snowfalls and extreme temperature fluctuations. And that's why the city is on track to fill the most potholes in its history, city officials say. Readers may have noticed the "Crater Philly" graphic that ran in the Daily News for weeks, with many writing in to share their tumultuous tales of breaks in the blacktop, with their cars taking the beating. Typical is this plea from Stacey Scanlan: "Please urgently fix the potholes on City Ave. from just before [St. Joseph's]
March 13, 2014 |
If you are sick of dodging the axle-busting, tire-flattening potholes that seem to be everywhere, get over it - the craters are likely here until late spring, experts say. "We are fighting Mother Nature," said Leslie A. McCarthy, a Villanova University engineering professor whose research includes pavement design and construction. This year, pothole season began early, on Jan. 6, when temperatures in the region went from freezing into the 60s and back into the teens, according to state Department of Transportation spokesman Gene Blaum.
February 24, 2014 |
Where Joseph Borucki sees destruction and expense, Scott Kleiger sees liquid gold. Borucki, a Mount Laurel lawyer, just spent $500 to fix a wheel bearing damaged by a pothole. For him, every drive has become a slalom run around road craters. Kleiger, a Harleysville entrepreneur, operates a fleet of specially equipped trucks that fill potholes in seconds, and this is his high season. "It's like our birthday!" Kleiger exulted last week, watching one of his Pothole Killer trucks back up traffic for a half-mile on U.S. 1 in Bucks County as it squirted a warm mix of asphalt and cement into hole after hole.
January 20, 2014 |
Bucks County lawyer Niels Eriksen blew two tires in potholes Wednesday. The first was en route to a district court in Bristol to defend a man in an assault case. He called the judge from a nearby bar to say he was going to be late. "Isn't it a little early for that?" the judge joked. Two hours later, the temporary spare on Eriksen's Acura was shredded on the Route 1 Superhighway, effectively canceling an appointment with a client at Bucks County Prison. "I paid $250," Eriksen said of two new tires and installation.
January 11, 2014 |
In what has proved to be an unusual winter, drivers already have endured snow, rain, ice, and a weather whiplash that have contributed to an earlier-than-expected nuisance: A surge of potholes. "The potholes are jumping up like crazy," Erich Wendel, public works director in Middletown Township, Bucks County, said Thursday. "We have a lot of guys now patching up. " "This pothole season is incredibly early, and it is due to the wide fluctuation in temperatures we're having," Philadelphia Streets Commissioner David Perri said Thursday.