Enormous Potholes Blamed for Expensive Damage - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/14/06

Enormous Potholes Blamed for Expensive Damage

Grange Road in Port Wentworth is one of the busiest roads for truck traffic around, and it looks like a truck hit it in some places. The road handles a lot of heavy traffic in and out of the Georgia Ports Authority, but it has a bad pothole problem.

These aren't just run-of-the-mill potholes. There are craters the size of an SUV, close to two feet deep at certain points. Just try driving down grange road in a straight line. It's simply not possible.

"The potholes are enormous," said truck driver Jason Hinson.

And trucker Thomas Hall told us, "You can barely fit two rigs side by side. And any kind of heavy traffic--which equals on this road two trucks at one time--one has to pull over and let the other one go through. It's definitely not safe."

And that's only talking about the drivers who are used to the road. Unsuspecting cars and trucks are running into all kinds of problems, literally.

"When he hit the hole, it actually tore a hole in the sidewall of his tire and bent the rim, and he actually tore up two tires coming up Grange Road," said Jackie Morris, who owns Advantage Tire and showed us customers' damaged tires.

Morris says he's seen all kinds of problems from the potholes. "Oh yeah, yeah. It's good business for me."

He says truckers are having to spend up to $400 a pop on tires that get torn up on the road, and he sees it all the time. "I would say at least three to five times a week."

"It needs to be resolved," said Hinson, noting there's also wear and tear on trucks' chassis.

Luckily the road is getting some attention. Just last month, the Georgia Department of Transportation decided to transfer the road to the highway system so it can more easily widen and improve it. But truckers who've been battling it for years say it's a little late for that.

"I believe if half the government officials around here had to go down this at least once a day, it would have been fixed a long time ago," said Hall.

The DOT is spending more than half a million dollars in design costs for the road, and over the next year and a half, they'll be including it in a statewide study of truck-only lanes.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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