When will repairs begin on Burlington's ravaged roads?

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It's Burlington's worst kept secret and black eye-- the heavily traveled Pine Street can do real damage to your car.

"I think Pine Street is really bad," driver Flo Meiler said.

"If I can avoid it, I do," driver Eve Dubois said.

Flo Meiler has been busy distributing posters for the Vermont Senior Games but she was slowed down this weekend when she dipped into a pothole in Burlington.

"I had a big hole in my tire," Meiler said.

If you've popped a tire on Pine Street, you know it can be costly. We actually met a woman who went after the city for her money. We figured we'd ask the city just how long the process takes and how you go about retrieving hundreds of dollars.

"Pine Street is the worst. One year we hit a pothole on Pine Street and it popped the front and the back tire on the right side of the car," driver Kirsten Rand said.

Getting the money, she said, took a long time.

"If people have damage, the city does have an insurer and they should give us a call and we will work with our insurer," said Chapin Spencer, the director of Burlington Public Works. "Different cases run different timelines. I will say that we work promptly to get the claim into the system and we work with the insurance agents as fast as we can to get people an answer one way or another."

This month's rain, sleet, ice and snow has slowed down the efforts to resurrect the roads.

"Right now, the asphalt plants have yet to reopen. We were hoping they would in the next week or two. Hopefully, the weather here doesn't change that trajectory," Spencer said.

The city says they can't begin permanent fixes like putting down new base pavement and a new surface coat until those plants reopen. Upgrades are planned for Pine Street, North Ave., Maple Street, Colchester Ave., Plattsburgh Avenue and Cherry Street.

In the meantime, they say they've worked to address other issues like drainage. They tell us when work begins, it will be the most comprehensive paving of Pine Street in more than eight years.

"A couple of years ago we were spending about $1 million on paving our roads. Thanks to the voter approval bond in 2016, we got it up to $2 million a year. And this year, through some work through fund balance and reprioritizing work, we are over $3 million in the paving program," Spencer said.

Pine Street will be under construction for a good part of the summer season. Public Works says the city will accommodate two-way traffic on the bulk of Pine Street for most of the season.