Potholes cause thousands in damage

March 8, 2010 3:11:02 PM PST
Drivers say series of huge potholes on Morrisville Parkway between Weldon Ridge Boulevard and Green Hope School Road in Cary are a serious hazard.

"They're like craters," said driver Chantal Ayers.

"It was a pretty hard hit," said driver Bob Rossilli.

And there's been expensive damage.

"It could be upwards from 800 to a thousand dollars," said pothole victim Tim Simmons.

Simmons needs a new rim. Rossilli's son needs a new tire.

"He got a flat and had to have his car towed and it ultimately cost him a couple of hundred bucks between the towing and the repair on the car," he said.

The wife of an ABC11 employee says the pothole caused $2,000 worth of damage to her car. She's written the DOT. So has the Town of Cary since the state maintains the road. Records show the town reported pothole problems in this area to the state at least twice in February, Five more times on Friday, March 5 and at least three times already Monday.

ABC11 cameras captured a DOT truck in the area, but the driver kept going - passing right by the pothole. Some problem spots farther down the road are marked but it's not clear if that's the work of the state or concerned residents who are sick of close calls.

"Part of the problem is that the road is so narrow that to try to get around them you're often swerving off the road or into oncoming traffic," said Ayers. "I think we're very fortunate that we haven't had a very serious accident - a head on accident with oncoming traffic."

"This problem has been going on for months now and I'd just like to see them be proactive and fix it," said Simmons.

The Department of Transportation says it will make new repairs Tuesday morning. And, it says it's been doing what it can with the road, but has been limited to cold patching because of the season. It also says the road is in bad shape overall because of heavy use.

"With the amount of development that has occurred and continues to occur in this area over the past few years, this old farm road has taken a major beating by increased traffic and increased heavy construction traffic," wrote Wake County Maintenance Engineer Steve Halsey.

Halsey says more permanent repairs are on the way.

"Up to this point, our ability to get plant mix asphalt to make a more permanent repair to deficient areas has been very limited, so we are forced to make temporary repairs with cold patch. I have been working on a contract this winter to have a contractor come in to make substantial repairs to many of the bad areas, but due to the seasonal paving limitations that are in place up to March 15, I have been unable to move forward with the contract. Now that we are close to end of the seasonal limitations, I will move forward with advertising the contract and hopefully move forward with the permanent repairs in the next month or so. In the mean time, I have asked the Road Maintenance Supervisor for this area to review and schedule any work that is necessary prior to the contractor coming in to make the permanent repairs," said Halsey.

Halsey says drivers who have damage to their cars can make a claim against the state at: http://www.ncdot.gov/contact/

About half way down this page, there's a link to "Claim Form." Once downloaded and filled out, it can be mailed to:

4009 District Drive Raleigh, NC 27607

The DOT says it will investigate claims and send them to the Attorney General's Office for a decision. This process takes 12-14 weeks to complete.

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