Indy Cruiser Damaged, Officer Hurt by Cavernous Pothole

INDIANAPOLIS --

A huge pothole along one of Indianapolis' busiest streets was filled in Tuesday, but not before causing costly damage to dozens of cars, including a police cruiser.

The chasm in the southbound lanes of the 2600 block of North Shadeland Avenue had ballooned to 5 feet long, 3 feet wide and 6 to 8 inches deep in recent days, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.

"Oh my God, it's like the whole half the street," one driver said.

An Indianapolis police officer suffered a slight injury to her foot when her patrol car struck the pothole. She was taken to a medical clinic for treatment, while her cruiser had to be towed to the city garage.

The side of the road near the pothole is littered with wheel covers, evidence of damage done before city workers put up cones to warn drivers.

"The tire came all the way off the car, and when the tire came off the car, I had to have it repaired right here on Shadeland Avenue," another driver said.

The dangerous dip has resulted in a spike in tire and rim repair in the service department of the nearby O'Brien Toyota dealership.

"I've seen at least four cars since last night. I've had two Toyotas in here recently and with one more last night that hit that pothole," said employee Dan Johnson.

He said the list of damage caused by potholes can get costly quick.

"If the car is out of alignment, it can cost $100 to repair. A steel rim costs $100 and an aluminum rim can cost up to $400," Johnson said.

The massive hole was filled in Tuesday afternoon. Workers said it was largest pothole they'd seen so far this year.

Wednesday is the deadline for contractors to turn in bids to help the city keep up on pothole repairs. It's the first time in recent memory that the city has looked to the private sector for help.

"We have amped up our efforts to repair potholes," said Department of Public Works spokeswoman Kara Brooks. "We will add contractors hopefully by the end of this week and we will continue to attack the pothole problem as long as we get a break from snow."

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