Despite not having a major snow or ice event so far this winter, heavy rains and freezing have contributed to potholes. February was the rainiest February on record, according to the National Weather Service. Rain can still freeze under the pavement and cause the surface to crack.
If you see a dangerous pothole, please notify the City Street Department with information so crews can respond to the location and make repairs. Motorists are encouraged to slow down when approaching Street crews working pothole repair on busy roadways.
“We have 60 employees who are trained in pothole repair. They are ready to mobilize when citizens advise of dangerous potholes,” said Street Department Director Raymond Hillis. “Repairing our streets as quickly as possible is essential in our efforts to keep motorists’ safe and reduce vehicle damage.”
The City Street Division currently has three pothole patching crews and six trucks for the pothole season. Motorists are encouraged to slow down when approaching Street crews working busy roadways.
City crews fill approximately 20 to 30 potholes a day, depending on the severity of the hazard and weather conditions totaling over 300 repairs so far this season.
Potholes are formed when water that has seeped into the road freezes, expands and melts, loosening the pavement. When vehicles drive over these spots, the impact further loosens the road, creating a hole. The mixture of water, salt and ice contributes to the pothole conditions.
To report a pothole, call the Street Division at 615-893-4380 during business hours from 7:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. When you see or drive over a pothole, make sure you pull over to a safe location to make the phone call.
Some of the worst areas where repeated cracking and potholes have developed include Armstrong Valley Rd. and Rucker Lane., SE Broad Street, St. Andrews Dr. Highland Ave. N. Tennessee Blvd., Main Street and Minerva Drive.
Citizens are encouraged to provide the street location address, nearest cross street or block address, your name, phone number and e-mail address. The Street Department is committed to the goal of responding to reported potholes by the next two business days. If it is too cold for the asphalt to adhere to the surface, the road is wet, or materials and equipment are not available, it may take longer.
In 2018, The City responded to 400 potholes. The City Streets Division started patching potholes in early January of this year and has repaired well over 300 different potholes through March 8.
The Street Department uses a “cold-mix” asphalt, a temporary fix especially suited for winter weather. Temporary fix is a blend of small stone and liquid asphalt and is not designed for permanent repair. Once the asphalt plants open in late March/April (weather permitting) a more permanent repair can be made with “hot mix” of heated asphalt material with a stronger lasting bond.
To keep Street crews safe, citizens are urged to obey mobile work zone signs and observe the following:
- Stay alert and minimize distractions
- Don’t tailgate
- Merge into proper lane safely
- Don’t speed
- And Be patient
The City’s 2018-19 budget for paving and pothole repair is approximately $55,000,00 covering overtime for employees, and equipment maintenance.