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Pothole repairs surpass Elkhart budget, tire shops cash in with vehicle repairs

ELKHART, Ind.- Pothole problems just keep getting worse across Michiana. The city of Elkhart is working to repair some monster craters causing issues for drivers and tire shops are cashing in, trying to keep up with repairs.

All technicians at a local shop in Elkhart say they’ve had to help out more drivers with broken or dented rims, damaged tires and other serious damages.

Meanwhile, the city of Elkhart is dealing with an increase in the budget for these potholes. According to the mayor’s office, Elkhart’s Street Department has set aside $15,000 for pothole repairs per year.

As of now, repairs are going to cost the city more than $20,000 to fix.

Technician Scott Brooks, with one Elkhart tire shop, says he’s noticed a difference.

“We’ve had a lot coming in, due to ball joints going bad on them because of so many vibrations.”

Brooks has been working on vehicles all his life and says a vehicle can only take so much shock, “When you hit a big pothole it can bust a belt in a tire, dent your rim, and crack it even, depending on the rim.”

Some damages are minor, like a dented rim, while others can cause a dent in your wallet.

“It can range anywhere from 200 to a couple thousand,” says Brooks.

Street department workers are hitting the street covering up what they can in a work’s day.

“All these big potholes are tearing them up,” says Brooks. “Ball joints, the tie rods and the wheel bearings aren’t made to stand up to that so those go out.”

The mayor’s office says although the budget number is above average, they are able to manage and cover those expenses.

Brooks adds drives still have to be vigilant of what potholes are out there. “No matter if you’re in a brand new car and you hit a pothole it can snap your tie rod, bust a ball joint, or break a rim.”

The city’s budget year is from January 1 to December 31. If there is no way they can cover all pothole repairs, a special appropriation from the city council will be requested.


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