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Drivers pay hefty price for pothole problem

Drivers pay big price for potholes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Drivers said Thursday the pothole problem is costing them thousands of dollars, while the city of Colorado Springs debated how to pay for it.

Mayor Steve Bach said road conditions are the worst he's ever seen.

Robert MacDonald, with the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, said there is $11 million in the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority fund to pay for road repairs. The mayor's office is aware of those funds, but says it's not enough.

It costs about $10 to fill one pothole. In 2012, the city filled 28,000 potholes.

The mayor will ask the Colorado Springs City Council for $2 million from the city's emergency reserve fund to fix potholes.

Drivers said small or large, potholes can pack a punch.

"I've had two blowouts. I had brand new tires, had to replace my driver's side tire, and cracked my rims so I had to weld the inside of my rims and I just got them a month prior," said driver Aaron Braatz.

He said that run-in with a pothole cost him $1,300 in repairs to his Cadillac.

Colton Wolfe said he tried to keep up with repairs to his old car because of potholes but it became too pricey. He blames potholes for making him get rid of the car.

"I had to sell it and get a new one because it kept breaking down from all the potholes," said Wolfe.

Courtesy Automotive Service Center owner Dale Kurtz fixes victims of pothole wear and tear.

"We have seen just in the last few weeks an increase in alignments that come in," said Kurtz.

He said drivers shouldn't ignore problems with their cars because of potholes.

"If you don't get these things fixed it can, what we call domino on you, where one thing can turn into another and it can affect other things," said Kurtz.

Bach will ask about the $2 million emergency appropriation at the April 7 council meeting and expects an approval vote the next day.

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