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Potholes expected to plague NH drivers until weather warms
A large pothole lurks at the corner of Maple and Bridge streets in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Move around an obstruction? To the right, where the surface is uncertain? Or to the left, where greater danger lurks.
She's not following Olympian Hannah Kearney down a mogul ski slope. Kirkpatrick is driving her Chevrolet hatchback down Langford Road in Candia.
"You can't even go 10 miles an hour," Kirkpatrick said. "Potholes, frost heaves. If you go too fast it will mess your car up."
And that can mean a trip to the repair shop."Mostly, it's a lot of rim damage," said Gregg Walker, service manager at Betley Chevrolet in Derry. "Some of the newer rims, they're light-weight metal. It doesn't take much to damage it."
"You hit a pothole at 5 miles an hour, the tire will absorb it. If you're going 30 miles an hour and hit some of the potholes we have in Manchester, I can definitely see breaking a ball joint or control arm," said Brian Nutting, head technician at WildCards Automotive in Manchester.Road agents and public works directors say they're trying to patch potholes, but there is little they can do about frost heaves and unsettled street surfaces.
Last week, he had a couple of crews on the mile-long East Derry Road. He expected they would put about six tons of cold patch, at $100 a ton, on potholes. The weather's been so cold that workers have had to use blow torches at times to heat the patch, he said.
"Between the cold, the snow and the ice, winter bicycling can sometimes be a challenge. Poor road conditions can make it treacherous," said Timm Huffman, who commutes via bicycle to his job in the Millyard. He said he can't remember worse winter road conditions.
"Bottom line, until we start getting into warmer temperatures," Sheppard said, "we'll continue to have this problem."
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