Potholes cause trouble for drivers on I-35

Dozens of tires flattened near Rittiman Road

SAN ANTONIO – Huge potholes that opened up on Interstate 35 South near Rittiman Road made a soggy Monday morning commute even more miserable for dozens of drivers.

Monique Chavoya was already on her way to an auto repair shop to take care of damage that was done in a collision a few weeks ago when she unexpectedly rolled through the crater on the highway. She ended up adding a blown tire to her list of car troubles.

"I actually had changed lanes, because I knew there was a pothole on the other side," Chavoya said.  "I'm a little bit, I guess, disappointed because I just feel like the roads should be in a better condition."

Like her, dozens of drivers made the unplanned stop, pulling into a parking lot near the George Beach Road exit to inspect and repair the damage.

According to Josh Donat, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman, the potholes are new and were caused by rain that fell between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Donat said repairs were made to the road recently, but the wet weather caused the new problems.

To make matters worse, drivers are speeding in the area, which is marked as a 55 mph construction zone, Donat said.

He said crews would be out again throughout the day Monday, shutting down two lanes at a time to patch up the potholes.  However, Donat said more rain could bring more problems.

"It doesn't matter, I don't think, what speed you go.  It's going to flatten your tires," said Rhonda Ramirez, whose car was left with two damaged tires.

Ramirez said she is used to maneuvering around the trouble spots, but the rainy morning made that difficult.

"You can't see (the potholes) because of the water, of course, but you felt it," she said. "I mean, I'm lucky I didn't hit anybody."

"This is not how I wanted my Monday to go," Ramirez said.

Both she and Chavoya had to wait for a tow truck driver.

Other drivers, though, had to roll up the sleeves of their business clothes and change their own tires in the rain. 

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