Infamous pothole takes out tires in Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) — Potholes have been a pain this winter. And one infamous crater has taken out at least 10 tires in Madison.

Mason Geary says he was driving south on Park Street Saturday night. As he crossed the train tracks near Wingra Drive, he hit a huge pothole between the rails, immediately halting his car.

“It was really deep,” he said. “I ended up getting two flat tires and two cracked, alloy rims from it.”

Geary got out to inspect the damage — and the suspect pothole. He spotted two stranded cars up the road and a hub cap rolling towards him.

“My buddy stopped it with his foot and so it was like, man, it’s happening to everybody,” Geary told 27 News.

He took his car into the dealership and the mechanic told him another customer had hit that pothole just an hour earlier. Geary called the city to report the hole and was told it was the railroad’s responsibility to patch.

27 News reached out to a handful of auto repair shops in the area and found out Geary was not alone. At four service centers, at least eight cars were brought in with damage.

“Three of them drove in here with flat tires because they hit it at the bottom of the hill,” said Carl Ihm, who owns Park Street Garage, which is just up the road from the tracks.

Ihm says in his 50 years in business, he’s never seen one pothole cause this many problems. One woman’s rim was ruined, along with two tires.

He advises people should be extra careful because big potholes can cause major damage.

“The whole tire almost goes into the pothole and the rim hits the side,” he said. “That’ll ruin the tire. You’ll throw your alignment off, you can hurt the whole front end, you can bend things in the front, depending on how you hit it.”

Mason Geary is left with a $2,000 bill, but he’s happy to hear the hole has now been filled.

“It sucks that it happened to me. It’s a bummer, but if it gets taken care of and at least one other person on the road won’t hit the same thing,” he said.

Traffic engineers in Madison tell 27 News they took two complaints from drivers about the railroad pothole. They passed those along to Wisconsin & Southern Railroad on Monday.

Railroad staff told them they patched it, but refilled it again on Wednesday. They did not respond to 27 News for comment.

City officials say they’ve asked the railroad to re-work the crossing on Park Street because of ongoing pavement problems.

Jennifer Kliese

Jennifer Kliese

Weekend Anchor and Reporter, 27 News

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