The Investigators

May 8, 2013 7:31 PM by Nichole Szemerei

Pothole perils wreak havoc on Tucson cars

Potholes are costing you money, whether you hit one or not. Your tax dollars help pay for claims against the city. News 4 Tucson investigates how much you’re spending to fix other driver's vehicles.

Potholes aren't hard to find in Tucson so we went to one spot that has drivers buzzing about the damage it’s doing.

"There it goes. Wee! That was a two-wheeler."

Rhonda Hallquist reports potholes all the time. She says the one on 14th Street and Norris Road is one of the worst.

"You can hide children in there. It’s very, very large!"

She uses a website and has noticed others complaining, too.

"When I reported it on pothole report, someone had said that they had busted they're rim on it in the night because you can't see it, it's completely dark. A pothole like that is probably making some auto-body shop a lot of money! Suspensions and rims and things like that," Hallquist says.

That money has to come from somewhere. It's costing you and the city thousands, but the city says its hands are tied.

"In this case where we're at, where we're at in our asphalt maintenance program, that's where we're at," says Michael Graham with the city.

Risk management estimates about 150 pothole claims were filed last year, 30 were honored adding up to about 10 thousand dollars of taxpayer money.

“I think what we say to the public and to our citizens of our community is be patient with us, we've got some old infrastructure and we're working hard to maintain those," says Graham.

"We've been behind, our pavement is in poor condition as we all know," says Daryl Cole, Director of Transportation.

So what's being done to fix it? The city says money is the answer.

"Oh huge! It’s critical. Not just necessary, critical," says Cole.

The city's gotten 20 million dollars with another $100 thousand earmarked over the next 5 years. All of that going to fix roads and not to pay pothole claims.

"Anytime you do major improvements to a system, your numbers go down generally, whether it be service requests, and or claims," says Cole.

To report a pothole call 791-3154.

If you have a story for the News 4 Tucson Investigators, we'd like to hear from you. Just email us at investigators@kvoa.com.

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