Damaged roads creating business for auto glass shops

By WEEK Producer

March 28, 2014 Updated Mar 28, 2014 at 10:15 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Kevin Jolliff is a busy man. He repairs and replaces windshields for a living.

Potholes are driving part of his business. But some of the damage he's tackled recently is even hard for him to fathom.

"(I've seen) a big area with breakage on the windshield that looked like a body slammed into it with those big chunks of ice falling off of the bridges and stuff," said Kevin, who owns Jolliff Glass along with his brother Ron.

It takes Kevin just under an hour to replace a windshield. Less time to repair one.

He says he once replaced the windshield on an old Volkswagon Beetle in 15 minutes. Installing a new one on Bill Lutes' pick up truck is an average job. Lutes says it's the casualty of a pothole.

"Oh it's a big headache," said Lutes. "You try to drive with a cracked windshield and it creates more problems going down the highway. I hoping that the potholes get fixed."

So do Casey and Laurie Martin. They run the Dempster Insurance Agency and cracked windshields are a hot topic there.

"Calls and claims are up around 30-percent," Casey said. "Not everybody who calls files a claim but you can definitely see that there's been a lot more damage to glass, windshields, etc., this year with autos than in year's past."