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Repaved Freeways Appear To Be Costing Silicon Valley Drivers

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101 South to San Jose

Freeway sign points to San Jose. (Flickr / Mathieu Thouvenin)

MikeColgan20100909_KCBS_0410r Mike Colgan
Mike Colgan, who has worked in Bay Area radio for more than 40 year...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Drivers in Silicon Valley are having to spend hundreds of dollars each year on car repairs – and the irony is it’s because of newly repaired roads.

Anecdotally, at least, it seems the bulk of the expenditures are for cracked windshields. That damage is being done by loose gravel from roads and highways once they’ve been freshly paved.

“All the invoices that I have usually say ‘rock on the freeway,'” said Mike Brandy, who has been in the auto glass repair business for 20 years.

He said business in San Jose has never been better. He suspects it’s up by at least 30%, translating into customers who are paying upwards of $600 or $700 a year on repairs.

“When they put that blacktop on there, it’s got the little, fine rocks, the little bitty rocks that come up and put a chip in your windshield,” he explained, “And the next thing you know, it’s traveled all the way across it.”

“So,” he continued, “it’s mostly the rocks on the freeway.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Brandy’s booming business is hardly comforting to the repair-weary drivers who are bringing their cars in.

“Just driving down the freeway,” one driver said, “you catch a rock here and there. I got a ding on my hood, two, three weeks ago, don’t know where it came from but all I drive is the freeway.”

“I have a protective film on my hood,” explained one man. “I did it on purpose because I get dings on my car, driving on the freeway.”

Unfortunately, he learned that protective film isn’t foolproof – or rock-proof – film.

“This rock actually has gone through the protective coating. So whatever rock it was, was sizable,” he lamented.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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