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'Like driving on the moon:' Bozeman crews close roundabout for repairs

Project engineer says damage 'expected,' but more severe than anticipated
Posted at 2:50 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 16:50:37-05

A Bozeman roundabout continues to become riddled with potholes, an issue drivers say is becoming dangerous.

Crews have been actively working to fill up the holes at the roundabout at the intersection of Durston and Ferguson throughout Thursday, smoothing them.

The intersection still remains closed for those repairs and this time, city engineers say they waited too long.

“If I could imagine driving on the moon, I think it would be somewhat like that," says Rebecca Kriegel.

It’s that sound and feeling that forces a driver to cringe.

Roundabout Potholes.jpg

“Oh, it’s jarring," Kriegel says. "I mean, I feel like my little car is going to, like, pop.”

Rebecca Kriegel drives, or tries to drive, through the roundabout often.

“It’s been really difficult to go through," Kriegel says. "I get really nervous. I’m like oh my gosh. Am I going to pop a tire?”

Project engineer Bob Murray says the “ROAD CLOSED” signs that first appeared in July 2019 came down in winter, before the project was done, to allow traffic through until spring.

Now they’re back.

“This time, the potholes got significantly worse," Murray says.

When you get potholes, deep and this full of water, crews have to pump the water out first and these are pretty dangerous for drivers driving through.

“This will be the third time the contractor has been out there, fixing stuff this winter," Murray says.

Murray says his phone has been ringing all week with complaints and that the sleet last week turned dips into craters.

He says the costs won’t add to the original price tag for the project, instead falling on the contractor.

“This is the contractor’s responsibility to make the repairs," Murray says.

Murray adds this should be the last time we see orange signs until construction restarts and then there will be more closures.

As for Kriegel, she says that day can’t come soon enough.

“We are going to keep up on it better this time," Murray says. "We are going to require it to be kept better.”

“I don’t want to go through something that has so many potholes," Kriegel says. "I don’t want to risk harming my car.”

Crews will be out here throughout the day to try to finish the rest of the work.

Murray says they will not reopen the intersection until they do so.