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Local News

March 12, 2014

Pothole epidemic jolts area road crews


Customers at Stewart's Shops in Oneonta said they were well-aware of potholes in their travels on local roads.

"Last year, it didn't seem as bad," said Morris Moore of San Antonio, who is in the area for the third time to do computer work for Chobani in New Berlin. "Potholes usual pain."

The harsh winter has made repairs difficult, Scott Keyser of Otego said, and state and local crews can't be blamed for road conditions caused by potholes.

"They seem to be all over the place," Keyser said. "They seem pretty treacherous."

Walton Mayor Ed Snow said crews have working on fixing potholes, but the cold patch doesn't have time to dry before wet conditions return and the repair pops out. Some repairs have lasted only five or six hours, he said.

"The roads aren't holding the fill," said Snow, who has been mayor for seven of the 17 years he has lived in Walton. "This is by far the worst I've seen for potholes."

He estimated a "huge increase in costs" in the thousands of dollars for repairs, an expense that will be met by transferring money from the village's general fund.

Also, Snow said, he has been on the telephone constantly with the state DOT about its Delaware Street, which serves as the village's main street with 3,000 cars a days driving over it.

Potholes can cause damage to vehicles, including broken shock absorbers, struts, wheels and deflated tires, Lew Barney, manager at Monser Bros. Tire and Service Center in Oneonta, said.

"We're getting lots of cars in with damage," he said. Potholes are "always bad this time of year" but seem somewhat worse this winter, he said. He advised motorists who must drive on roads with potholes to "slow down."

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