NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced a new plan to combat road deterioration and potholes following a tough winter season.
Watch the full announcement in the video player below:
"This has been one of the worst years we’ve seen for potholes," said TDOT Interim Commissioner Joe Galbato. "It’s what we call a perfect storm with the extreme winter weather, regular wear and tear, and pavement coincidentally at the end of its life. We want everyone to know we’re taking steps to prevent this in the future."
During fiscal year 2020, TDOT spent nearly $360 million on road and bridge repairs. Galbato said in this upcoming fiscal year, the department will spend $460 million on repairs across the state. Of that cost, $300 million is used for payments.
"We will all agree that this winter has been especially bad and we all agree that our pavement performance was unacceptable in certain places," Galbato said. "Clearly we waited too long to resurface certain projects."
After this past winter season, TDOT engineers were tasked with reviewing the major failures seen on Tennessee roads and identifying roads that will be at the end of their "useful life" by the end of 2022. These roads will be part of the new enhanced resurfacing program that was created in an effort to avoid the conditions seen on Middle Tennessee roads after the winter season.
"We are going to deal with potholes every year. But repaving these roads earlier than originally planned should prevent deterioration as we saw this past winter," said TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges.
TDOT determined that the following locations in Middle Tennessee will not make it through another winter similar to what we recently experienced:
- Davidson County
- Briley Parkway — from McGavock Pike to Interstate 65
- Interstate 40 — from US 70 to Charlotte Pike
- Wilson County
- Interstate 40 — from east of 840 to east of US 70; from east of US 70 to the Smith County line
- Smith County
- Interstate 40 — from Wilson County line to east of State Route 53
- Rutherford County
- Interstate 24 — from Medical Center Parkway to Stones River
- Rutherford and Bedford County
- Interstate 24 — from east of Epps Mill to Coffee County line
- Robertson County
- Interstate 65 — from Sumner County line to Honey Run Creek Bridge
- Maury County
- Interstate 65 — from Marshall County line to near State Route 99
- Cheatham County
- Interstate 40 — from Williamson County line to Davidson County line
The ten projects will get underway in May to repave the roads before they deteriorate.
"One of the things a lot of our customers have noticed in the last eight years is we put a new type of asphalt out on our interstate highways. It's called an open-grated asphalt, to where water flows through it instead of over the top of it. You get much less spray and it's a much safer pavement," Degges said. "Our data is showing us a 34% reduction in wet weather crashes. So we really think this technology is a great tool for us. But one of the things that we want to be able to do is to make sure we don't repeat that same type of failure mode so the new resurfacing projects."
The enhanced resurfacing program will be in addition to the regularly-scheduled resurfacing projects and pothole patching across the state.