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Wet winter, increased traffic brings worst pothole season in Nashville

Posted at 3:14 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 08:30:50-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — With our city on the rise, more cars are on the road. And that means more problems with the roadway.

And the recent flooding is making matters worse. Metro Public Works says this is shaping up to be the worst year for potholes, ever. Crews have already filled 500 more potholes than this time last year. And if you remember, 2018 was the last touted worst year for potholes.

If you drive around Nashville in the heart of pothole season, you know some heroes wear neon vests.

"It just seems like to me every year it gets worse and worse," said Metro Public Works Patch Truck Supervisor Randy Madden.

Madden and his crew are one of four three-person teams across Metro, working up to 10 hours a day to fill all the holes.

5,400 potholes since January 1st, according to Public Works spokesperson Cortnye Stone.

In Nashville, TDOT reports 220 pothole complaints this year, compared with 200 by this time last year. They cover the interstates and state routes.

By Thursday, Feb 21, the mid-state had inched up the record list to 4th place for wettest Februaries. And the increase in rainfall is most certainly connected to the increase in potholes.

Potholes form after water seeps into the asphalt and can be especially bad if the water freezes and melts with changing temperatures, leading the molecules to expand and contract. When the water recedes it can leave cracks behind and when traffic rolls over that weak spot it can lead to holes on the road.

"The worst one we've seen has probably been anywhere from 6 ft around to 4-5 ft deep." Madden said that one was on Hamilton Church Rd.

He says Tusculum Rd is another hot spot his team responds to all the time.

These days, he says his crew fills 45 to 65 every day.

"It's quite a lot," Stone said, "when you think about having to stop and get out of the truck and deal with traffic going on around you."

TDOT says one of their Metro problem spots is Ellington Pkwy. In fact Thursday morning TDOT crews responded to a series of potholes that lead several cars to crash between Ben Allen Rd and Trinity Ln during the morning commute.

"That's the main reason why we do it," Madden says, "it helps people."

So if you see a pothole near your house, report it and be patient. Within 24 hours Randy and his team should be coming to the rescue.

On Metro streets, report a pothole by calling 311 or by going to You can also download the Hub Nashville App.

On Interstates and State Routes, contact the county TDOT office:

Nashville (Davidson, Williamson)

Gallatin (Macon, Trousdale, Smith, Sumner, Wilson)

Clarksville (Cheatham, Houston, Stewart, Montgomery, Robertson)

McEwen (Dickson, Hickman, Humphreys, Maury)

Belfast (Bedford, Moore, Lincoln, Marshall, Rutherford)

Lawrenceburg (Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Perry, Wayne)

You can also email – please give the exact location of the pothole.