Pothole season causes headaches for Rockford drivers

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Every winter, the weather takes a toll on Rockford roadways, meaning drivers should be on the lookout for potentially damaging potholes.

“If you hit a pothole and you go traveling down the road, you’ll feel it. [Your car] will start to shake. It’ll want to pull one way or the other and eventually, depending on how bad it is, you’re going to have to have it looked at,” said Brian Hinz, Service Manager at Good Boys Auto Care, located at 6850 N Alpine Road in Machesney Park.

The salt from last week’s snow and ice is causing damage to the roads, and that means more potholes as the temperature starts to rise.

“In this case, the salt, or water, will get into a crack or a crevice and, as the temperature changes and it heats up, it cools down, and it expands and contracts,” said Gerald Dumelle with the City of Rockford’s Public Works. “It will break up the asphalt and create a hole.”

The holes are no fun to drive over.

Hinz says his garage is seeing car problems related to drivers striking potholes, causing suspension problems.

“You would know immediately,” he said. “Your car will turn left or turn right… The biggest damage you could have (are) suspension problems that could completely separate [the] suspension, and your car would not be able to move any further.”

Rockford residents can put in a request with Public Works to have a pothole repaired.

Dumelle asks that drivers give road crews enough space to work.

“That’s one of the most important things, to make sure the drivers look at the arrows. If they’re saying go to the left, go to the left,” he said. “That will keep themselves safe so they don’t end up hitting one of us or one of our trucks, and then also it will let us do our job and it will keep us safe by being able to go home tonight.”

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