Potholes surface on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore after storms | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Potholes surface on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore after storms

Claire Cudahy
Highway 50 has a number of large potholes, like these by Lakeview Commons.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Drivers on the South Shore have another reason to drive cautiously right now, and it’s not because of the snow and ice — it’s the potholes.

Though crews from the city of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County and Caltrans are still working to widen and clear the roadways of snow after January’s storm series, many roads that are free of snow are now riddled with large potholes and cracks.

“With winter weather comes snow and water, [and] the water finds its way into cracks. Freeze/thaw combined with heavy traffic, and we end up with potholes,” explained Ray Jarvis, director for Public Works for the city of South Lake Tahoe.

“The city, county and Caltrans experienced similar road degradation last year as well.”

Jarvis said that once the roads dry up more, crews would temporarily repair the most severe potholes, then come back in the spring with more permanent repairs.

Steve Nelson, Caltrans District 3 public information officer, conveyed a similar approach.

“We are filling potholes as best we can in between storms, trying to get to the worst ones first and those that are in the wheel tracks,” said Nelson.

“I can tell you the staff in our Meyers maintenance yard have been working non-stop 12-hour shifts since Christmas without any days off,” he added.

Farmers Insurance has a few common-sense tips for avoiding pothole damage to your vehicle, starting with leaving more space between you and the vehicle ahead. With the additional space, you are more likely to notice a pothole ahead and safely dodge it.

A car is more likely to incur damage if it hits a pothole at high speeds. Slow down, and take the pothole straight on if you can’t avoid it so as not to damage the sidewall of the tire.

Lastly, beware of potholes filled with water. It’s difficult to judge just how deep these might be, so try to avoid them.

According to the agency, pothole damage accounts for nearly 500,000 insurance claims each year.

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