Pothole causes problems on Highway 92

January 21, 2010 6:40:45 PM PST
It was a bumpy day Thursday for Bay Area motorists, thanks to all the potholes this week's rains have exposed on many major roads and highways.

It was a rough start to a rainy morning for dozens of motorists traveling westbound on Highway 92 in Hayward, due to a gaping pothole that punctured more than 30 tires. Once the damage was done, a Caltrans crew filled the hole -- one of many exposed by this week's driving rainstorms.

"The water gets up underneath the pavement and just makes them pop out," said Patty Williams, a member of the Caltrans crew that spent the rainy afternoon cruising state Highway 185, better known as San Leandro's East 14th Street.

In this weather, the repairs Caltrans crews make are only temporary, and in many cases they don't even make it through a rainy day.

"Today the workers were filling it up with cold mix," said Caltrans spokesperson Allyn Amsk. "We're looking forward to the spring when we can go through and grind out those locations and use hot mix and do a much better fix."

Dublin mechanic Rick Camacho says a pothole can do serious damage to a car, well beyond a flat tire.

"You have tie rod ends or suspension parts that will actually get tweaked or bent, and you'll notice the way the car? it may be a shimmy in the front end," said Camacho.

Alex Flores rides stunt motorcycles for a living and says it's almost as dangerous as riding over potholes.

"It's pretty close," said Flores. "I mean, you could crash either way, bend rims, definitely get into accidents out there because of all those potholes."

It is a possibility Caltrans workers hope at least some Bay Area drivers can avoid.