Driving back home from Washington, D.C., last week, just North of Bradford Pa., on U.S. 219, I passed the “Welcome to New York” sign and drove onto pavement that is in such poor condition that any self-respecting New Yorker would be ashamed.
The deteriorated, crumbling concrete of this four-lane highway is pocked with hundreds of potholes (only some patched with asphalt). It’s disgraceful and for the few miles to I-86, it’s an obstacle course that requires constant dodging to try to avoid hazards.
Sadly, after maneuvering past a cluster of deep potholes, I was unable to miss one that was about the size of a bathtub. The left front tire on my 3-month-old car was destroyed and the wheel damaged.
Four-and-a-half hours later after calling for roadside assistance, followed by 75 miles on a flatbed tow truck, we were finally home in Buffalo but with a still un-drivable car.
Now $500 plus and four days later, I’m partly mobile again, but still need a replacement wheel.
The tow truck driver, who lives near Salamanca, told me that he and his neighbors use alternate routes around this section of highway refusing to risk damage.
In my opinion, there is good reason to close that section of U.S. 219 until it’s repaved.
It looks as though its maintenance has been ignored since the Carter administration and this is certainly not the first impression that I would ever want visitors to have of “the Empire State.”