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Potholes cost driver hundreds; TDOT says no permanent fixes until spring

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Rain over the last several says has caused more problems for Knox County roads. Potholes are popping up all over, causing drivers problems. 

"It was very scary," said Nicole Michalak, whose tire popped on Interstate 640 on Thursday. "I didn't realize what had happened until after the fact. I guess I am very thankful that there no semis behind me because I could have easily gotten rammed. I mean, I immediately slammed on my breaks because I didn't know what happened."

Michalak says the pothole she hit was big - she estimates about the size of basketball goal. She says the repairs are leaving a large hole in her bank account. 

"It's telling me I need a new tire, my wheel is bent, I need an alignment, a tire sensor, and a new rim, totaling $842 thus far," she said as she held a receipt. 

Mark Nagi with the Tennessee Department of Transportation says they are aware of the potholes but right now crews can only make quick fixes. 

"When our crews get out there and patch a pothole, if we get more precipitation, that same pothole that they are working on one day may only be filled for a few more days when the traffic continues to go back over that area," said Nagi.  

Friday was the first day without rain in a few days. City and county crews were out filling potholes. Nagi says he isn't sure if TDOT was filling them specifically in Knox County, but says that crews do work on potholes across the state everyday.

Machalak says the unfilled pothole in Knox County has created quite a mess for her.  

"Very frustrating," said Michalak. "I don't have the money for that. I don't know how I'm going to pay for that but one way or another I'll have to come up with it because I do need a vehicle for work."

Nagi says potholes will be able to be more permanently filled in the spring when hot asphalt can be used. 


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