When citizens encounter potholes in towns or cities, they usually have to inform their state’s transportation department. Interestingly, South Carolina has received numerous pothole complaints, even ranking 12th in the country.
There are countless potholes in the United States alone. And these potholes have dealt so much damage to vehicles that 1 in 10 drivers found that the damage was enough to require repairs. That equates to $26.5 billion in repairs in 2021 alone.
Every state has its own Department of Transportation or some form of it. These governmental departments are responsible for maintaining and repairing roads in their respective jurisdictions. Most of the time, citizens can file complaints with the department to report potholes. Involving citizens allows the department to have eyes virtually everywhere and repair potholes as soon as possible.
But how many pothole complaints have South Carolina and North Carolina received?
According to a survey, South Carolina ranks 12th among the states with worst pothole problems. The same survey found North Carolina is more fortunate, coming in 46th out of 50 states. That being said, among the top 50 cities with the worst pothole problems, only Greenville, NC, made the list at number 48.
It is worth noting that the survey was conducted based on search index averages. That means the results were only based on search data for states with most pothole complaints.
A separate report found that North Carolina averaged 5.4 complaints for every 1,000 km (about 621 miles) of road. Meanwhile, South Carolina averaged 5 complaints for every 1,000 km of road. That puts North Carolina at 22nd and South Carolina at 27th overall.
Potholes are more prominent during the winter season because of two factors: water and temperature. Potholes form as a result of water accumulation and penetration. When water seeps under the surface, cold temperatures can cause it to freeze and expand. The surrounding area also swells as the water solidifies.
Once temperatures go up again, the frozen water will melt, leaving a gap beneath the surface. This significantly weakens the spot where the gap is located. As vehicles drive over the spot, the surface breaks and a pothole remains.
This is particularly problematic for South Carolina as large freight trucks pass through the state’s roadways. In fact, the state sees about 465 million tons of freight, which is only expected to increase by 65 percent by 2040.
While pothole complaints have lessened in North Carolina over the years, potholes will continue to pop up as spring rises and temperatures start to rise. The NCDOT, though, says it is prepared.
Residents of South Carolina and North Carolina can report a pothole to their respective Departments of Transportation.
North Carolinians can report a pothole through the NCDOT website. The online form asks users to fill in an address or pin the pothole’s location on a map. Users will then have to describe the pothole and enter their contact information. After submitting the pothole complaint, users will receive a tracking number via email.
Alternatively, residents can call the NCDOT at 1-877-DOT-4YOU (1-877-368-4968). North Carolinians can call between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
South Carolinians can either report a pothole or submit a work request. The SCDOT can be reached through 855-GO-SCDOT (855-467-2368) toll free or 803-737-1200. For maintenance work requests, users can go to their website. The department will ask for the location and details of the request as well as the user’s contact information.
Drivers who run through a pothole that results in vehicle damage can file damage claims with the Department of Transportation in their state. The pothole, though, must be on a road for which the department is responsible.
Residents of North Carolina can file a property damage claim online. The online form asks for the user’s personal and contact details, information about the incident, and the nature of the problem. Users can also attach photos and documents to the form supporting their claim.
North Carolinians can also submit a claim through the mail. To do that, they will need to download and fill out an Incident Statement and send it to the NCDOT in the county where the incident occurred.
If the Attorney General’s Office denies the claim, the filer can appeal to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. If the incident occurred in a work zone for projects contracted by the government, the department would forward the claim to the contractor responsible for the pothole.
Residents of South Carolina can file a damage claim online. To qualify for a claim, the department must have known about the pothole but did not repair it within a reasonable timeframe.
South Carolinians must complete a SCDOT Damage Claim Form and have it notarized. Then, they must submit it online, along with the following:
2 repair estimates or a paid invoice
They can also attach photos of the damage if they so choose. For those who don’t want to submit their documents online, they can mail them to the following address:
ATTN: Customer Service Center
955 Park Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Once the department receives the claim, they will determine the jurisdiction, investigate the incident, and make a decision. If the claimant receives a positive ruling, the S.C. State Treasurer’s Office will issue a check within 10 business days of notification. The SCDOT Legal Office will also inform the claimant if their claim has been denied and will not be paid.
Residents must file the damage claim within one (1) year from the date of the incident.
Potholes are inevitable wherever there are roads. And while transportation departments are doing their best to manage and repair thousands of miles of roadways, residents can always lend an extra pair of eyes by reporting potholes when they encounter them.
If your commercial or private property needs a pothole fixed, Pothole Repair Carolinas is at your service. Call us today at 704-227-0468 or contact us online for expert pothole repair in South Carolina!