In April of this year, a pothole sank nearly half a dozen vehicles on Interstate 40. The hole was nearly a foot deep and caused an unknown amount of damage. The problem was fixed, and now others roads are the on the mend to avoid a similar fate.
TDOT crews worked this week along a stretch of Interstate 440. Interstate 24 and 65 are among the other TDOT managed roads getting repairs.
In the last month, TDOT has patched roughly 150 potholes per week on 15 secondary, primary and interstate roads.
In the summer months, also known as paving season, crews patch two to three times per week. Compare that to winter months, when crews do quick-fixes nearly every day.
A mild winter and dry summer are keeping pothole numbers down, but the extreme heat is not helpful.
"When you come up to intersection, you've seen big trucks kind of sitting there idling and vibrating. Well, the pressure from those trucks combined with the heat of the day actually just creates those ruts that you see there in the intersection," said TDOT spokesperson Deanna Lambert.
Metro Public Works face the same challenges on city managed roads.
Earlier this year, a report showed Metro roads were in bad shape, but they're starting to shape up. Crews are on regular shifts patching, paving and repairing roadways. The work combined with milder, drier weather has made a difference.
In 2011, Metro roads had a total of 1383 potholes. By mid June of last year, there were 900 potholes. The numbers have dropped significantly this year with only 440 potholes for the same time period.
Potholes are typically fewer in number in the summer months because the freeze-thaw cycle that can wreak havoc on pavement is over. Asphalt companies shutdown in the winter months, forcing road crews to go into high gear to fix potholes in the summer before another cold weather returns.