One of the casualties of winter in Northern Illinois are the roads. This happens every year. Any small crack in the blacktop will get filled with water. As it gets cold, the water freezes and the crack expands and buckles the roadway. The road salt dumped down by the ton eats away at everything. Snowplows are the final straw. As they shovel away the ice and snow, they also tend to rip up the top layer of road. When the missing chunks of roadway are small and isolated, they are called potholes. Your car shudders as you slam into one, but it’s over in a moment.
This year, I haven’t seen as many potholes. Instead, whole swathes of roadway are missing in long canyons in the asphalt. Every time I drive I see crews out, patching what they can. I can’t help but see them; traffic grinds to a halt as apparently no one has ever witnessed an orange truck on the side of the road before. The Illinois Department of Transportation – or IDIOT (sorry, IDOT) says they can fix something like 10,000 potholes a week. However, apparently Mother Nature is even more efficient at creating them.
Sadly, the only solution to the problem is summer, which is still a depressingly long time from now. In the meantime, I’ve taken advice from Daniel and treat the upcoming potholes like some kind of video game action. Actually, with the salt spray clouding up my windshield, the Wii has better graphics than reality. I’ve been driving our truck more. It has four wheel drive, good for off-road travel… even when the off-road travel is on a major expressway.