KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Dodging potholes has become the new reality of driving in East Tennessee. As many as 10 cars had to pull off Interstate 75 in Anderson County last week because of potholes. Some even had to be towed away.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation says I-75 north of Knoxville in Anderson County is one of the hardest hit areas, but it’s not the only one. The winter weather we’ve been experiencing the last few weeks has not been a help and unfortunately, potholes are just a fact of life right now.
“Trying to miss them, trying to watch for them. Night time is the worst because it’s hard to see them,” said driver James Newcomb.
TDOT agrees that there are more and more potholes around East Tennessee.
“You have freezing and thawing and freezing again. That cycle, when coupled with the precipitation and snow, the rain, the sleet, that we’ve had in the area, that’s when it seeps into the cracks in the pavement. And that’s when those holes can bet bigger and bigger,” said TDOT spokesperson Mark Nagi.
About three or four crews are out every day fixing potholes that drivers are reporting. Because it’s not quite spring and not quite winter, repairs are temporary for now.
“They get the cold mix out there and that just doesn’t bond as well. So the same pothole they make work on one day, they may have to work on the exact same pothole a day or two later,” added Nagi.
That vicious cycle can be frustrating for crews and drivers.
“You worry. You hope you don’t hear your tire blow out, and you also worry did I just throw out my car alignment out,” asked Amy Vichich from Lenoir City.
The best advice is to give yourself extra room to move into another lane and if you can’t avoid it, simply slow down. For now, things won’t get better until it gets warmer.
“It means that we can have a more permanent patch that can be applied on these potholes so you don’t have to go over them time and time again,” said Nagi.
The headache is not fading away fast enough, according to drivers.
“They’re just going to continue to get larger and larger,” said Vichich.
If you would like to report a pothole to TDOT, you can do so online.
More online: Report a pothole
You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org