The tires of about 16 vehicles were punctured Thursday morning after a chunk of concrete became dislodged on the westbound Youngmann Highway where it goes over Delaware Avenue, created a hole and caused some traffic backup on the highway, Town of Tonawanda Police and state Department of Transportation officials said.
“There was actually a piece of material that came out of the bridge joint area,” explained Susan Surdej, the Buffalo-area spokesperson for the Transportation Department.
The first call about the problem came to Tonawanda police at 6:39 a.m. The caller reported hitting a “pot hole.” Tonawanda Police Lt. Nick Bado said subsequent callers said they thought they had struck something in the road.
It’s likely that the concrete came loose in much the same way potholes have been forming across the region this winter because of the extreme cold and thaws, Surdej said.
Surdej emphasized that the bridge was not in any danger of collapsing and was not compromised in any way by the shifting of the concrete.
The hole was fixed by about 9 a.m.