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GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Dodging potholes has become a part of the daily commute. Still, a huge one in Grand Prairie Monday morning caught drivers by surprise.
“It was just a big ‘pop pop’,” says Jaqueline Bazaldua. And just that fast Bazaldua and Orlando Vega were left standing along Interstate 20 with two blown tires.
“I messed up my two rims, hubcaps are broken off, I don’t know if the chassis is messed up,” says Vega, as he calculates the damage. Bazaldua says she asked police officers what would happen next—and she admits to being more than a little disappointed at the response.
“Basically, they said ‘crap happens…we can’t do nothing about it… you’re going to have to call a tow truck’,” says Bazaldua.
Fresh asphalt marks the spot on I-20 over Belt Line Road where crews quickly repaired the roughly three food long pothole. But, that was little consolation to the drivers already on the side of the road.
“It was a line full of cars,” says Latasha Turner, “about eight cars after I hit it—about eight more cars hit it also.”
Skillet-sized chunks of asphalt—and more than twice as thick—were knocked onto the shoulder by passing cars. But, the hole left behind was largely hidden.
“The only way you could tell you had hit something” says Turner, was “because your tire automatically went on flat. I didn’t know what was going on.”
According to TxDot officials, they’re seeing similar problems across the state. And yes, they’re blaming the pothole explosion on the extended stretch of wet weather.
It’s an explanation that, for some motorists, still doesn’t hold water.
“It’s not our fault that there’s a pothole on the state highway that they need to keep on top of to ensure our safety,” says Bazaldua. “We’re just trying to get where we’re trying to go… don’t know how we’re going to fix it.”
But, according to a department spokesperson, state law does not allow the department to reimburse motorists for damage due to road conditions.
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