Pothole Problems Plaguing TN Drivers - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pothole Problems Plaguing TN Drivers

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The city of Chattanooga has received more than 500 calls reporting road divot problems since January alone.

A total of 25 people have filed a claim for damage and those claims are currently being investigated by the city attorney's office.

Channel 3 takes a look at the pothole problem plaguing Tennessee drivers and how you can avoid them sinking your budget.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation and City Public Works crews have been playing catch up, patching pothole after pothole on both city and state roadways.

"Yes definitely hundreds," said Jennifer Flynn, TDOT Spokesperson. "We have thousands of miles of roadway that we take care of, the interstates are our number one priority."

With spring temperatures heating the cold pavement, hundreds more are likely. Each pothole creates a potential driving hazard. 

Local tire and auto service shops know all too well about pot hole damage. Ron Wright who is the Owner of Tire World and Auto Services, tells Channel 3 that he has seen one pothole alone bring in 12 customers.

"At least one a week, yes and sometimes several times a day," said Wright. "It depends on the day."

Repairs can range from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand. Wright says just because you can't see the damage doesn't mean it's not there.

He suggests having your alignment checked to avoid buying a whole new set of tires.

"If you hit a pothole you should have your car checked. You should have your wheel alignment checked, either one can tear up your tires. Your wheel alignment can shave many years off of your tire's life," said Wright.

If your car is damaged by a pot hole on a state route or state highway, officials say you can file a report through the state's Division of Claims Administration in Nashville. Officials say nearly 300 claims have been filed already this year.

"They can look it up on a computer or call the board of claims but it's just better to have a claim form filled out that does help," said Flynn. "Provide a paper work trail and get it investigated."

The state has to foot the bill for repairs if it knew about the problem spot and didn't take action to fix it within a timely matter, weather permitting. TDOT crews are on standby for emergency calls.

"If you see a pothole we want to know about it," said Flynn.

A claim can be denied if no one reports the pot hole in question and if you file a claim it's important you are able to prove the pothole in question did the damage.

"It's just really great to file a police report, that would be additional evidence. Police can document what they saw and what happened, you can use the report as additional proof," said Flynn.

Since the big ice story this winter, Tennessee State Treasury's Claims Division has received 292 claims as of March 20, with more in the queue that have not yet been tallied. These claims have not yet been processed and can take up to 90 days. 

Last year the state paid out $1,600 dollars in pothole damage. In the past five years, records show the state has granted a total of 51 damage claims that in all totaled: $36,150 dollars.

If you see a pothole on any state route or state hwy call your TDOT Regional office. If it's on any city owned street's you can report it by calling 311. if your car is damaged by a pothole on a State Route/Hwy, claims can be filled out online through TDOT's website.  

If your car is damaged by a pothole on city streets, a damage claim can be filed through the city's website.  

TDOT crews will be out repairing potholes Tuesday 31-Wednesday April 1. in the Monteagle area on I-24 East and West bound lanes from 7 p.m. - 6 a.m. Drivers should expect minor delays between mile marker 134 and 140.

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