HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A Huntsville man says he has needed to replace his windshield twice in the last several days after rocks kicked up and hit the glass while he was driving on I-565. He says he thinks construction in the area is the cause and he is asking for help from community leaders.
Tens of thousands of people drive on I-565 every day including Thomas Kniemann, who drives it daily to get to and from work.
"This will be my fifth windshield in two years time," Kniemann said. "I had a chunk of asphalt the size of a golf ball smash through my windshield. You could literally feel the air hit my face after it came through glass shattered all over I almost wrecked my car."
Then it happened again.
"I just got it replaced last week and it cracked on the way home," he said.
The newest crack occurred on his drive from Huntsville to Elkmont.
"I've had 14 flat tires in the past three years so, there's a lot of construction debris, screws nails, I've pulled all sorts of stuff out of my tires," he said.
Kniemann says he often sees large construction vehicles on the road. He believes construction on and near the interstate could be what's causing more rocks and what he calls construction debris to be on the roadway.
"Hopefully, this is not the price to pay for all the progress we're experiencing," he said.
He found a thread on Reddit where several people mentioned having problems with rocks hitting their windshields.
"I'm frustrated. I don't know what to do. And I kind of think that we need to let our city leaders or someone know," he said. Kniemann says a solution to this could be something as simple as street sweeping.
WHNT News 19 reached out to the Alabama Department of Transportation to get their take on this.
"I'm not aware of any issue on 565 that would be connected to that. I'm just not aware of anything that's going on or anything with the condition of the road that would be correlated with a crack windshield," public information officer, Seth Burkett said.
People can report issues they see on the interstate to ALDOT on their website.
Officials with ALDOT say they check for complaints about the interstate frequently. They mentioned that the hot and cold temperature swings have created more potholes on their roadways. Crews are working to patch those. If a driver sees a pothole, ALDOT officials would like them to report it on their website.