MINERAL, Va. (WRIC) — Something is slashing tires in the town of Mineral in Louisa County, and it isn’t a person.
Instead, the culprit is a rounded curb edged with steel. And when someone drives too close to it, the curb slashes their tire. Town residents tell 8News it’s been going on for at least 20 years.
In a town of fewer than 500 people, word travels fast when there’s a problem. At Gibson Auto Service — located near the dicey intersection — they’ve witnessed the damage first hand at least 100 times.
“It actually punctures a hole in the tire,” a shop employee told 8News. “By the time they notice they have a flat tire, they’re right here at my shop.”
The steel curb is located at the corner of E. Fifth Street and Mineral Avenue seems to have teeth. So when people turn too tightly, it bites back.
“If you’re going north on Mineral Avenue, you’re subject to hit the curb,” said resident Lewis Keller, who was one of the curb’s victims 15 years ago. “A lot of people have done it. I’ve done it. Next thing you know, you’ve busted a tire.”
It also happened to Ed Kube, who ruined a brand new truck tire.
“When I stepped out of my truck, I could hear the air spewing out of it and the tire was going down fast,” he explained.
Locals don’t know if it’s a problem with the turning radius or the curb itself, but they want VDOT to fix it.
“In the last year, VDOT has come around and improved and tore up and built new corners a lot of other places in town, but they didn’t do that one,” Kube added.
The mayor of Mineral says she’s complained about the curb, but it hasn’t helped. We reached out to VDOT but never got a call back.
So, if you drive into town, the locals warn when you make the turn at this intersection, make it wide.