Residents angry about potholes

Published 10:19 am Monday, June 28, 2010

Numerous potholes along a county road in Pedro have several residents angry. Some of the residents who live along County Road 25 said the road has been in bad condition for years.

“You can’t go around them or you go in a ditch,” Rose “Susie” Markel said. “It’s a shame. I’ve lived here for 13 years and they’ve done nothing (to fix it).”

But for Markel, what happened last weekend was a breaking point.

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As Markel was driving to a store Saturday evening, she attempted to navigate the numerous potholes along the road. As her back tires went through one of them, the car’s struts broke.

“It just sounded like a gun going off and I thought oh my God what happened,” Markel said.

Markel paid about $130 for the parts and repair. Now she’s seeking reimbursement from Lawrence County’s insurance company.

She said she has called the company several days in row, and has been told that the damage was done due to normal wear and tear of the road and that the company is likely not responsible for the damage.

“I ain’t giving up,” Markel said. “I don’t owe them, they owe me and they’re going to pay me.”

Markel has liability insurance on her car.

Several factors could determine if the county’s insurance company, The Ohio Plan, will pay for Markel’s car, said Bernard Kinder, an insurance agent who represents Lawrence County.

“It comes back to if the county engineer is legally obligated,” Kinder said.

Kinder added that there have been cases in which the county’s insurance has paid residents for damage done to their cars because of potholes but that the company will make the decision.

Markel is not the only one who has a problem with the condition of the road.

Randi Castle is Markel’s daughter. She lives with Markel and often finds it difficult to drive around the holes.

“I come home from work at night and it’s horrible,” Castle said. “I don’t know where (the potholes) are and I don’t know how deep they are.”

Markel’s niece, Brenda Markel, lives on a private drive but travels the county road to get to it. Brenda Markel said her daughter broke her car’s axel while driving on the road.

“The car sits low so she knew to be very, very careful,” Brenda Markel said. “She wasn’t flying through the potholes or anything.”

Markel and her family said they have tried unsuccessfully to have the county repair the road. The only time it is repaired, they said, is near election time.

“I pay taxes and I myself would like to know where the money goes,” Brenda Markel said.

They also complain that when they try to talk to county engineer David Lynd, they get no response.

“I’d like to see him come out and drive the road,” Markel said.

The road is typically repaired with a “chip and seal” approach. Markel and her family said the repair does not work for long.

“They get the chip and seal in the big ones and they don’t even do the smaller ones,” Brenda Markel said.

A receptionist in Lynd’s office who would not give her name said that a work order had been put in for the work on the road and that the road would be repaired using chip and seal.

“We’ve already got some requests on it,” she said. She did not indicate when the road would be repaired.

A call to Lynd Thursday afternoon was not returned. Attempts to reach him at his office Friday morning were unsuccessful.