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Potholes: A Hidden Danger For Colorado Drivers

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Written By Jodi Brooks
DENVER (CBS4)- Our recent rain has really helped the potholes pop up all over the streets.

Pothole repair snarled traffic on Interstate 70 Thursday. Colorado Department of Transportation crews had just one lane open near the Havana Street exit as they worked in filling several big holes in the road.

Drivers can expect to see more potholes in the next few weeks especially if this wet weather continues.

A bad pothole can blow your tire, bend your rims and in some extreme cases even cause problems with your suspension or steering.

Crews are working hard to fill the holes in the road, but if you do damage to your car, you have a couple of avenues to get help.

“We’re up to 30,000 potholes plus so far this year,” said Denver Street Maintenance spokesman Pat Kennedy.

Denver crews are moving fast, but these repairs are just a quick fix because of the cold and rain.

“We want to get those repaired as quick as we can before they develop into bigger potholes,” said Kennedy.

The bigger the pothole, the bigger the safety issue. An unsuspecting driver can do serious damage to their car if they hit a hole in the road. So who pays that repair bill?
“You can file a claim with the state to hopefully get your vehicle repaired,” said CDOT spokeswoman Stacey Stegman.

To get the state to pay, your pothole damage has to be on a state highway. You’ll have to be able to prove that the state knew about the pothole and was negligent in filling it.

It’s the same deal for the city of Denver.

“95 percent of the holes that they’re informed of we’re going to have patched in 24 hours,” said Kennedy.

Pothole damage is covered in your auto insurance under collision coverage. Collision coverage is optional in Colorado.

Just be sure to compare the cost of the repairs to the amount of your deductible. It may not be cost effective to make an insurance claim on pothole damage.

Something else to remember, many drivers make quick maneuvers to avoid potholes. Be aware of what you’re doing so you don’t cause a bigger crash and endanger yourself or others.

Report a pothole on a state highway or interstate to info@dot.state.co.us or call the state Office of Risk Management (303) 866-3848. In Denver, call 311. If you live outside Denver, call your local government.

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