Potholes multiply as streets take pounding in harsh winter weather

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Spring can't come soon enough for the nation's roads.

The extreme cold and snow have been chipping away at the infrastructure of American cities.

And leaving holes in driver's wallets.

It will cost Kofi Minor hundreds of dollars, maybe more to repair her front driver's side tire.

What did it feel like when she hit the pothole?

"It was awful," she said. "I mean, it was very scary. It jarred me and even my airbag deployed on the side."


New York City has already filled 117,000 potholes
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Across the country, motorists spend $377 dollars annually in added vehicle operating costs driving roads in desperate need of pothole repairs. One estimate says it will cost car owners $6.4 billion by the end of 2014, mostly in repairs.

They form when water from melting snow and ice seeps into the pavement, freezes and expands. When the ice melts, there are gaps in the pavement, and passing vehicles cause it to break up.

This winter, streets and highways are taking a pounding. And with more cold weather in the forecast, New York City workers like Albert Mercado will end up repairing a lot more than the 117,000 potholes they've already filled. That's more than the last two years combined.


Damaged rims, ruined tires add to the cost of driving
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"The whole thing you have to keep in mind is public safety," Mercado said.

Every fourth car pulling in to one repair shop needed at least a new tire because of pothole damage.

"We're also seeing an increase in damaged rims," said Olivia Scotland, the manager. "And that runs the customer a lot more."

Minor just found out she didn't only ruin her rims and the tire. The pothole also damaged the front of her car. The cost of driving these roads just went up.