Roads are only getting worse
Pima County roads are amongst the worst
Potholes cover Pima County roads; conditions are only getting worse
When it comes to road conditions, Pima County has some of the worst Video by kgun9.comvideo
Reporter: Ileana Diaz
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV)- It's a bumpy ride if you're driving through Pima County. Many of the roads are covered in potholes big enough to pop your tire, damage your car, or force drivers to swerve out of the way.
“How bad is it driving through here day in and day out?” asked KGUN9’s Ileana Diaz.
“Well, it’s awful. My daughter is a new permitted driver and she's driving down the road swerving to avoid potholes and just find a decent surface of road so it’s fairly challenging for everybody,” said Matt Baranowski, a nearby resident.
Matt Baranowski lives on what the Director of Transportation told us is one of the worst county roads.
“It is awful. Instead of going the easier way this way ill go the farther route just to avoid the potholes because they're no fun to drive over. I don't want to throw my car out a balance. It’s a nuisance,” said Baranowski.
And now the potholes and poor roads are starting to take a toll on the families who live close by.
“You don’t see any kids on bikes because the road is basically impassable you would have to get off your bike and walk it because you’re going to get a flat tire or get hurt with all the potholes and just lack of flat surface. The road is just gone,” said Baranowski.
Neighbors like Baranowski are getting so fed up they are now spending their own funds to try to ease the problem.
“I’ve actually bought 7 bags of pothole mix to just you know patch the ones you cant avoid when two way traffic is coming and you don’t want to run into a big hole, I’ve patched this road myself,” said Baranowski.
Why isn't the county fixing a problem both drivers and county crews are clearly aware of? KGUN9 found out, county employees want to but with a backlog of 90 potholes still waiting to be patched and a reduced budget, it is not a priority.
“People are driving less and buying less gasoline and buying less cars my revenues have been declining considerably. So, basically I’m getting each year less than what I got four or five years ago and so its been making it harder for me to maintain our roads like I should be doing,” said Priscilla Cornelio, the Director for the Pima County Department of Transportation.
The county averages 61 calls a month about new potholes. They do prioritize life-threatening potholes but most just go on the wait list. And this is only a small part of the bigger problem. Pima County roads are not getting the maintenance they need.
“That’s not going to happen and not going to happen for a few years. I don’t like to share the news but again it’s our limited funding and the economy,” said Cornelio. “We, the Department of transportation needed to spend an average of $20 million a year for 10 years to improve our roads to like the average condition. That is a lot of money and we don’t have that money,” she said.