Article Written by Zachary Stambaugh
While SCSU may seem like a beautiful campus thanks to its modern architecture and close proximity to the Mississippi River, there is a problem that has troubled the university for quite some time: potholes. The two main roads on campus, 6th street and 8th street, are scattered with potholes, which can make driving on them a challenging experience.
The potholes on these roads have become a serious problem for the students, faculty, and visitors of SCSU. Not only are they unappealing to the eye, but they are also dangerous for those who use the roads frequently. Potholes can cause damage to vehicles and bicycles, and can even cause accidents if drivers are not careful.
To make matters worse, the potholes on these roads are not evenly distributed, but are spread out all over the place. This means that drivers have to swerve to avoid them, which can create a hazardous situation on the road.
“I cracked part of my front bumper from how hard I hit one,” said student Grant Wicklem. “They’re almost impossible to avoid because they’re literally all over the road.”
The reason the potholes seem to be such a problem on the campus roads is likely due to the harsh Minnesota winters, which cause the roads to expand and contract. This can then lead to the formation of cracks and holes in the asphalt. This winter season was especially a contributing factor in the appearance of potholes, as it was one of the snowiest winters recorded in recent history.
“We normally get around 40 inches during the winter, and this year we got around 80,” said Barron Nixon, Grounds and Roads Maintenance Supervisor at SCSU. “Once the snow melts and the moisture gets in the cracks in the road, it really causes those potholes to expand.”
Though the university has acknowledged the issue through the placement of traffic cones in some of the potholes, it is also clear that the maintenance of these roads has been neglected by the city of St. Cloud, as repairs have not been made in a timely manner.
“The cones definitely help when driving on the roads at night, but it still doesn’t change the fact that there are potholes everywhere,” said student Davarius Berry. “I shouldn’t have to swerve back and forth every time I drive on campus.”
The potholes on 6th street and 8th street are not only an inconvenience, but also a reflection of the city’s commitment to maintaining a good image for SCSU. These roads are an essential part of the university’s infrastructure, and neglecting them sends a message that the city is not committed to providing a safe and visually pleasing environment for members of the community.
The potholes on the campus roadways are a severe problem that must be addressed. While there is not much that SCSU can do since the roads are city property, it is still important that the university takes precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its students and faculty. The placement of traffic cones in the bigger potholes is a step in the right direction, however, it is only a temporary solution to an ongoing problem.
“They have a whole city full of potholes that need to be filled,” said Nixon. “They did patch some of the bigger ones on campus, but I am sure that is only because they received so many complaints about them.”
It is critical that repairs are made in a timely manner to avoid accidents and vehicle damage. The city can demonstrate its commitment to maintaining a reputable image for SCSU by investing in its infrastructure. This would help to create a safe and enjoyable experience on campus for all.