Tennessee highways and surface streets are pocked with an unusually high number of potholes. Transportation officials blame the extreme cold spell at the first of the year and recent snow events.
The state’s Department of Transportation doesn’t have a running count of the interstate potholes, but a spokesperson says it’s unusual to have so many this early in the winter. And that complicates the patching process, because hot asphalt can’t really be used until mid-March when the temperatures are more consistently warm. Until then, road crews have to use a less permanent cold-mix, which an official calls a “band-aid.”
While the roads won’t be fully repaired until spring, Aaron Lane at Bass Tire is working overtime replacing blown tires and truing bent wheels.
“Bad for the customer. Good for business. But I hate it.”
Drivers whose cars are damaged by interstate potholes can ask that the state foot the bill. However, of the 250 claims submitted last year, only 21 were paid.
Lane repaired four wheels that were victims of man-eating potholes before noon, which is more than is typical.
“You do one, maybe two in a day’s time. So it’s not quite doubled, but it’s gotten worse.”
Drivers can report problem spots to the state by calling (615) 350-4300 or by emailing TDOT.Comments@tn.gov and Metro Public Works by clicking here.
Life cycle of a highway from the Missouri Department of Transportation.