Minneapolis, MN

Potholes, Repairs and Payment for Their Destruction: A Lumpy, Bumpy Road of Responsibility

Nadja Scarlett

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Person looking down at their reflection in a pothole filled with waterPhoto byMarc-Olivier JodoinonUnsplash

Whose responsibility is it to pay to replace your tire after being flattened by a pothole? Yours, of course. Maybe that doesn't sound fair.

After all, it's not your responsibility to fill potholes. It's not your fault potholes can't be immediately fixed. It appears you have to chalk this up to running over a nail or other debris that punctures. It's part of operating a vehicle in Minnesota.

The good news is there's potential for compensation after paperwork and a waiting period. In the meantime, the inconvenience is yours to handle.

Due to construction last spring, I detoured from the normal commute to my part-time job. I hit a horrendous stretch of craters that ended with a flat tire. However, I didn't know one of my tires was a rubbery pancake until a colleague delivered the annoying news. I couldn't recall the exact location of the incident since off my typical driving route. And no, I didn't want to take the time to backtrack and potentially end up with more flat tires traveling on that pock-marked road.

So, I didn't file a claim. I just paid for a new tire without the extra hassle, although I didn't feel right without compensation.

According to CBS News:

If you damage your car on a state highway, you have 180 days to file a claim. MnDOT says in order to have a valid claim, it has to know about the pothole and have a reasonable amount of time to fix it. If there's negligence on MnDOT's end, it could be liable.

It's easy to be frustrated with all the potholes, but road crews state they are doing what's possible to help with the problem. Public Works reviews daily reports; the largest potholes with the highest potential to cause damage receive priority treatment.

Yet, road crews still request our patience because they can't keep up. Clearing snow has been prioritized over filling potholes. Plus, they only do temporary fills because asphalt can't be laid during cold temperatures. Therefore, permanent fixes occur during the warmer months.

Asphalt production starts in April in Minneapolis and St. Paul, when they can focus less on plowing roads and more on repair.

Here's where to report a pothole in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or with the state.

Here's how to attempt reimbursement for damages in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or through MnDOT.

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/video/good-question-how-do-cities-decide-where-to-fix-potholes-first/

https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/public-works-employees-struggle-to-keep-up-with-trimming-trees-fixing-potholes-as-they-focus-on-clearing-snow/

https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/probably-the-worst-its-been-in-a-generation-potholes-plaguing-st-paul-roads/

https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/video/metro-roads-have-more-potholes-than-usual/

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