by Ken Davidson
Michael Torres of Michigan City was just trying to get to work at Conway Freight in Gary. That is when he says he heard a loud thump. Torres is just one of many drivers who were faced with the choice of missing work or braving the treacherous conditions of Cline Avenue. The Gazette received reports of as many as 7 cars at one time on the side of the road due to flat tires from pot holes. “They need to close Cline again” said Brenda Kirk, a Hessville resident who travels to work on Cline daily. “In the morning, it is dark and very dangerous.” Michael Torres agrees stating “with traffic, I could not avoid it (the pothole).” As you can see in the photograph, vehicles travelling in the left lane have no place to go to avoid the potholes.
Cline was closed earlier in the year for temporary repairs. On February 3, a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy was injured on Cline Avenue See LC Deputy Injured in Cline Avenue Incident. If you have gotten a flat tire on Cline, please see our article Filing a Claim for Tire Damage on Cline Avenue. The Indiana Department of Transportation, Northwest issued the following statement via facebook:
Folks, we’re trying to respond to everyone who is frustrated about the condition of Cline Ave., so we thought we’d post here to give you the details about what we’re doing now, and the big fix that’s coming soon. And we’ll talk about potholes across NW Indiana too. This is lengthy, but hopefully helpful.
We know Cline is in bad shape, and we’re working on it. We’ve had multiple crews patching every day on Cline, whenever we aren’t plowing snow and ice. Since the beginning of January crews have used 297 tons of patch material on Cline alone.
Until the weather warms we have to use temporary “cold patch” on Cline, and every other road in NW Indiana. So as crews patch one pothole, other new ones are forming and old ones are reopening due to constant freezing and thawing on roads, and heavy traffic. It’s a constant battle that won’t end until the weather gives us a break.
The good news – Cline Ave is scheduled for a complete resurfacing this spring. This has been on the plans for Spring 2014 for a couple years. The contract was awarded last fall, well before this awful winter. Just over a month from now that project will begin.
We know it’s not just Cline. Potholes are overwhelming all over Northwest Indiana. It’s the worst season most of us have ever seen due to an extremely brutal winter. We know you’re frustrated. We are too. But we are using ALL available equipment and people to get the job done. We’re patching with day and night crews, and on weekends too.
This weather has been awful on Indiana roads. We patch and a freeze-thaw overnight bounces material out. Wet roads, due to snow and rain, means pothole patch doesn’t stick no matter how much we dry them out. An entire day of patching progress by our crews can be virtually erased by one weather cycle. We wish we had better news for you other than, we’re working as hard as we can. Bear with us as best you can. Spring has got to come sometime.