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Mass. Pothole Hotline Gets Road Crews To Work Quickly

BOSTON (CBS) - Potholes are impressive this year and they are everywhere. Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says road crews are listening to frustrated commuters. The state has a new, faster way to get potholes fixed. Call them in.

Our extreme weather has made for some extreme potholes. Now for the first time, if you have problem on a state road, you can report a nuisance pothole to 1-857-DOT-INFO and the state says they will listen. Press 1 and you will hear, "thank you for calling the pothole reporting line."

Frank DePaola is the MassDOT Highway Commissioner. He says, "Now by using the public as sort of our field inspectors, we're getting real-time information as to where the potholes are and where the severe potholes are."

Since the hotline started in January, MassDOT says it has spent a half a million dollars filling more than 800 potholes.

In Newton, people can report potholes on local streets on the city's web site. Washington Street is getting a lot of mentions. Some holes are so big; sections of roads have been closed off.

David Turocy is the Public Works Commissioner. "This is a tough one," he says. "The last couple of winters have not been this bad... this is five times what we would typically see in the winter time."

Business is very good though at nearby auto repair shops. Side walls on tires are being ripped open at a blistering pace. One shop replaced five tires in one day last week. Mechanic Elliot Fountain says, "they are bending a lot rims, blowing out a lot of tires. Front end gets bent, that kind of stuff."

And some car owners are not letting it go. Since November Newton says it has received 76 claims from angry drivers who claim Newton should pay the damage to their car.


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