Pothole damage could be paid for by city of Knoxville

Pothole damage could be paid for by city of Knoxville

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Cross Park Drive in West Knoxville has had problems with potholes for years. This winter, the potholes seem even worse. Cross Park Drive in West Knoxville has had problems with potholes for years. This winter, the potholes seem even worse.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Roads with potholes are more than a nuisance for drivers. Potholes can slash tires, damage suspensions and cause accidents.

State and local governments may offer to pay for damage from potholes, but collecting is complicated.

Cross Park Drive in West Knoxville has had problems with potholes for years. This winter, the potholes seem even worse.

"It seems like it's getting worse, and they haven't done anything about it, no paving, just filling in" says one driver, Desiree Stookey.

She travels on Cross Park Drive each day for work. She says she hopes the potholes won't damage her vehicle.

"I have new tires and that was expensive," she says. "I would hate to replace them again, or have to pay for an alignment or anything like that."

If your vehicle is damaged by potholes in the Knoxville city limits, there's a chance you won't have to pay for the repairs.

If you want the city to pay, you have to prove crews were negligent fixing the potholes that caused the damage.
      
"One, it has to be a road that the city is responsible for maintaining," explains Gary Eastes, city of Knoxville risk/benefits manager.

"The damage doesn't need to be caused by somebody else. Sometimes it's a road cut by utility that actually causes it. And third, we have to be aware that the condition exists," Eastes adds.

He says the city has a policy of getting potholes fixed within 48-hours, but sometimes that's delayed due to weather and other factors.

Plus, if you're not from Knoxville and your car gets damaged, you're out of luck.

"The issue isn't really if they know it's damaged or not. It's whether the city knows it's damaged," Eastes explains.

In 2009, the city paid a handful of pothole damage claims.

The best thing to do is report potholes as soon as you see them.

In Knoxville city limits, the best way to do that is by calling 311. 

Knox County and the state Department of Transportation also have similar policies for pothole damage. 

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