Lexington is gaining in battle against potholes

bfortune@herald-leader.comMarch 22, 2013 

March is peak season for potholes in Fayette County, but new methods of repairing potholes and resurfacing streets significantly reduced the number last winter.

Sam Williams, director of streets and roads, said the city is doing a better job of paving and repaving streets, and a high-performance, cold-mix asphalt makes a more durable pothole patch. The city began using the new mix two years ago.

Pothole repairs dropped from 5,204 in March 2011 to 1,206 in March 2012, according to the monthly pothole report from the city's Division of Streets and Roads.

Williams said his crew tries to repair a pothole within two business days after it is reported. The number of claims for vehicle damage from potholes has been reduced significantly, he said.

"Five years ago, we would put all of our crews on pothole repair in March," he said. "Last year and this year, we have two trucks with two guys working on potholes."Whose claim is it?

If your car is damaged by a pothole, check your policy and call your insurance company.

City spokeswoman Susan Straub said the city does not pay for damage caused by potholes.

Greg Kosse, spokesman for Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, said collision coverage — depending on the policy — might cover a collision caused by a pothole. If a pothole caused a tire blowout and damage to the wheel, suspension or bumper, that might also be covered. But "normal wear and tear road damage" is not covered under a typical auto policy.

Kosse said hitting a pothole is "like driving down the road and hitting a curb." Damage from potholes tends to be minimal — and less than the deductible.

We asked: Where are Lexington's worst potholes?

■ "Liberty Rd beside Lexus dealership. It's a monster!" — Doniella Berry Mattox

■ "Where aren't there any potholes in Lexington? You go from one bad street to another. A decent car hasn't got a chance in Fayette County!" — Glenna Combs

■ "The worst pothole is on Creative Drive in front of the post office. I called it in but they won't fix it as its a private drive! If you hit this one you will definitely mess something up!" — Mandy Lillie

■ "One on mason headley it will swallow you in lexington" — Mike Button

■ "Versailles Road has potholes everywhere" — Sara Talbott

■ "The on ramp to I-64E/I-75S from Newtown Pike! It's so rough!" — Amanda Lawson

■ "The corner of River Park and Trent Blvd could use some TLC. No potholes, just a lousy pave job." — Jason Dotson

Join the discussion: Like Kentucky.com at Facebook.com/kentuckycom

Have you seen a pothole?

The worst potholes are on Main Street, Winchester Road, Versailles Road and Newtown Pike, Williams said. Those are state roads, but inside New Circle Road, the city maintains them at no cost to the state highway department. But his office is working on it.

If you've seen a big pothole you can report it:

■ Call LexCall at 311 or dial (859) 425-2255 or 425-CALL.

■ Use LexCall 311's iPhone application.

Beverly Fortune: (859) 231-3251.Twitter: @BFortune2010

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