CLEVELAND — Seen from the air and felt on the ground, problematic and persistent potholes continue to plague Brookpark Road, one of the busiest thoroughfares in Northeast Ohio. One particular stretch of Brookpark Road, located between Broadview and State roads, has become so hazardous that nearby business owners say the road is responsible for dozens of cracked rims and blown-out tires every single day.
Brookpark Road, also known as State Route 17, is used by an estimated 14,000 to 25,000 vehicles daily. Serving multiple communities including Brooklyn, Cleveland, and Parma, the road is jointly maintained by the different municipalities. For the especially pothole-filled portion of Brookpark Road between State and Broadview roads, Cleveland maintains the westbound lanes while Parma maintains the eastbound lanes.
For much of the day Tuesday, road crews from the City of Cleveland were going up and down Brookpark Road, filling some of the litanies of potholes that have opened up over the course of a long, snow-filled winter. However, for many drivers, the damage had already been done.
“I would say at least two people an hour are hitting those potholes [and blowing out their tires],” said Chris Escoto of nearby Katz Tires. “They’ve got to fix it, man, they’ve got to fix it.”
John Kish, who works at Apache Auto Parts, has had a front-row seat to the vehicular carnage for years. The condition of the roadway is as bad as he can remember, Kish said.
“I couldn’t tell you how many tires have gotten ruined,” Kish said. “You can’t drive in your normal lane… [people have to]drive in the middle. The holes are humongous. They’re big. It’s uncalled for.”
Particularly concentrated in the westbound lanes — the Cleveland side of Brookpark Road — the potholes are more than five inches deep in some places and more than a foot wide. In order to avoid a bone-rattling trip into some of them, drivers are forced to slalom from lane to lane, oftentimes just cruising down the middle turn lane.
Escoto said his tire shop has repaired dozens of vehicles in recent weeks. It’s been good for business but bad for everyone else.
“Taxes are supposed to go to fix the roads but I don’t see any fixing going on,” Escoto said.
“It’s pretty frustrating. If you bust [your car], how are you gonna get paid for it… if you get paid for it?” Kish said. “What if [the potholes] throw you into somebody else’s car and someone gets killed?”