Feb 19, 2014
09:02 AM
Connecticut Today

Winter's Discontent: Potholes a Seasonal Plague Across Connecticut

Winter's Discontent: Potholes a Seasonal Plague Across Connecticut

Arnold Gold/New Haven Register

A large pothole on Long Wharf Drive in New Haven Monday.

You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain.

Jerry Lee Lewis may have been talking about the disorienting exuberance of love in the classic hit "Great Balls of Fire," but these days in Connecticut, the song's opening line could just as well describe our encounters with the dastardly byproduct of wicked winter weather: potholes.

Yes, they're popping up everywhere in Connecticut amid the cold, snowy winter that won't quit, shaking the nerves and rattling the brains of drivers in even the biggest terrain-busting trucks and SUVs.

In advance of Tuesday's storm, WFSB called potholes a huge problem in the Hartford area.

News 12 Connecticut did a story with video recently on Norwalk Public Works crews feverishly patching potholes, just like their fellow municipal crews all over southwestern Connecticut.

One SeeClickFix report of potholes on Reed Street in New London says, "This street is choppier than the Thames River in a hurricane."

The News-Times of Danbury chronicled that city's potholes in a recent story, and the Public Works Department in Tolland has put residents on "pothole patrol," according to a Patch story.

In a Feb. 14 report on its Facebook page, WINY Radio said officials in Putnam were looking at old and obsolete ordinances such as "one ordinance [that] outlaws tying horses to trees, and another [that] requires that gas lanterns be set up around open holes in roadways." That prompted Cheryl Eddy-Albee to comment, "Maybe they should keep the lanterns for the open potholes as a warning."

The state Department of Transportation's form for sending comments on any matter uses potholes as its example to show how to word submissions.

And towns even have their own policies on potholes, and pothole damage caused to vehicles, like this one in Southbury.

Here's how today's story on potholes in the New Haven Register opens.

They seem to be everywhere, and they’re no fun.
“I hit a pothole on Jan. 7 coming from Mix Avenue” in Hamden, said Marilyn D’Ambrose. “It bent the rim of the tire and the air went out of the tire. It took about a week to get it fixed … because our garage was so busy.”
And it cost about $200, although her mechanic “luckily was able to straighten out the rim.”
Potholes split the asphalt every year, caused by water below the road surface freezing, then melting. It causes the asphalt to crack and fall apart and, often, causes the driver to utter profanities.
The Register asked readers to give examples of potholes they’ve run into, or avoided. Surely, the responses were only the lip of the pothole.
“I travel the Derby-Milford road every day,” said a Seymour resident in a voicemail message. “It’s like driving on the moon, especially towards the Grassy Hill end of it.”
“Campbell Avenue in West Haven is a nightmare,” said Nicole Victoria on Facebook. Others mentioned Congress Avenue and other parts of New Haven’s Hill section.
Dexter Thomas, who uses a motorized scooter, was heading for Walgreen’s on York Street in New Haven and said the problem isn’t just in the roadway. “Not only potholes, man, but none of the handicapped access to the sidewalk!” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of them are not even shoveled.”
Allen Kamen of Milford was somewhat sympathetic to towns dealing with potholes. “They’re creeping up everywhere from the weather,” he said. “I think they’re doing the best they can. When the snow’s gone, then that’s the time to complain.”
Actually, when it warms up, starting Wednesday, potholes may appear to be giving birth to a new generation.

See the full Register story.

And watch out for potholes.



Winter's Discontent: Potholes a Seasonal Plague Across Connecticut

Reader Comments

comments powered by Disqus