February 08, 2008

It's a war zone.

...thankfully I drive a tank.

The roads in Rockford,IL are getting worse by the day. The pot holes are starting to get way out of control. I really shouldn't be referring to them as pot holes, they really are more like craters. The prominent intersection of Alpine and Newburg/Broadway (East of Alpine it's Newburg, West of Alpine it's Broadway) is a prime example. It's not one pothole crater, it's close to a hundred of them, and they are huge! It looks like the intersection has been shelled by artillery. I kid you not, one of them is about two feet wide, twenty feet long and six inches deep. It's not just in the intersection it's bad, but in the roads leading up to it.

Traffic is horrible here as everyone has to do 5-10 miles an hour to keep from bottoming out or loosing a tire. It's gotten so bad between the potholes and traffic that I've taken to avoiding the intersection all together. Every time it snows it gets worse and the plows are pulling out more and more chunks of pavement. With all the snow we've gotten recently it's just killing the streets.

Now there are a lot of streets that are bad and maybe worse, but I travel through this intersection every day. Well I used to, now I go around it. I took a different route on my way to work today down 20th street. In the stretch between Broadway and Harrison by the train via duct, there is a pothole crater so big that I actually witnessed it swallow a VW beetle. Fortunately I had my spelunking gear and some tow chains with me or that poor lady would have been stuck down there for a long time. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little, but I did see her bottom out and send sparks when she hit it.

I guess I could be like a lot of the people in my city and blame the government and their cronyism with Rockford Blacktop (The only contractor that does road work in the city), but it's really not their fault. The weather this winter as been farooking nutz.

It goes from unseasonably warm to really cold in short periods of time. We get snow, rain or sleet every time the temps change any. The roads falling apart is just a combination of natural erosion, wear and tear and plows digging them up. Until the weather gets warmer, they really can't fix them. It's just too damn cold, the patches won't stick and some of the roads, like Riverside, just need to be replaced in general now.

So my good readers, if you have to travel in the city of Rockford, make sure you have a vehicle with good suspension. I'm really glad I have a 3/4 ton Heavy Duty 4X4 pick up with off road package.

Posted by Contagion in Rants and Raves at February 8, 2008 06:44 PM | TrackBack

We've been having frost heaves around here! Very strange indeed. I didn't think it was that cold, but I guess with the freeze/thaw cycle it's gotten under the "skin" of the roads. Luckily none of the roads I travel is too bad yet... but I worry. I haven't lived here long enough to know if they actually fix this stuff.

My daughter had one of her tires eaten by a big pothole on Lake Shore Drive. So it's not only Rockford - although your area sounds pretty dreadful. I wonder if they can patch in the middle of winter or do they need to wait until the asphalt plants reopen? What a pain.

Posted by: Teresa at February 8, 2008 07:06 PM

They have to wait till it warms up. It's too cold out now, if they did it would just work its way out and then the plows would send chunks of asphalt flying into cars.

Posted by: Contagion at February 8, 2008 07:14 PM

Yes, driving this winter has made me seriously consider making my next vehicle a 4x4.
I discovered that Alpine/Newburg crater zone last week after not driving in that direction for a long time... and came upon it from the other side of the hill where I didn't see it coming. Yup, slammed on those breaks right in the middle of the intersection... holy crap I think I may have blown a strut if I didn't.
That, and my car getting stuck in snow no less than 3 times already has given me reason to consider a 4x4 too.

Posted by: Shadoglare at February 8, 2008 08:44 PM

I'm ALL OVER the place driving and Rockford is HANDS DOWN the worst right now. Well, that and Bradly is not so good either.

I forgot about pot holes, livin' in the land of Palms for so long.

But I had me a wake up reminder the other day. I'm STILL feeling that jar!

I do think, the next Rep Car will be something a bit taller and with a bit more umph to it. Otherwise, you'll be pullin' ME out of one of them there holes!

Posted by: Tammi at February 9, 2008 09:20 AM