Dangerous Potholes Creating Car Accident Risk on Northern Utah Roads

Early last month, FOX 13 published an article cautioning Utah drivers about an excessive number of potholes along I-15 in Northern Utah.  Several weeks later, users on the popular web forum Reddit, which features a subreddit community dedicated to Salt Lake City, started their own discussion about some of the worst locations for potholes in the Salt Lake City area.  If you were injured in an auto accident that was caused by a pothole or other road defect in Utah, you should speak with a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer about the possibility of getting compensated for your medical bills.

How to Report a Pothole to UDOT for Road Repair

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At this time of year, the weather veers between late winter freezes and early spring thaws.  These temperature fluctuations take a heavy toll on Utah’s aging roads, making them messy and difficult to navigate even for experienced drivers.  In the northern part of the state, highways like I-15 have become so pocked with potholes that the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has launched an app called Click ‘N Fix, which lets iPhone and Android users notify UDOT about potholes by clicking map locations.

However, there are countless potholes that UDOT doesn’t take responsibility for repairing.

“There’s many people that hit a pothole and assume it’s UDOT’s responsibility,” says UDOT spokesman John Gleason, “and that’s not always the case.  Sometimes, it’s the city or county that’s in charge of fixing a road.”

Park City, for example, reported filling in roughly 100 potholes between mid-January and early February.  According to Troy Dayley, Streets and Streetscapes Manager for Park City’s Department of Public Works, each pothole takes about 15 to 20 minutes to fill using a cold gravel-asphalt blend designed for winter use.  Dayley says that most of the potholes are several inches deep or less, while the largest was roughly 10 square feet.

Hazardous potholes can be found all over Northern Utah, but are especially common along certain roads.  For instance, Dayley stated that as of early February, some of the worst pothole areas in Park City included:

  • Bonanza Drive
  • Main Street between its intersections with 4th Street and Swede Alley
  • Park Avenue between 10th Street and 12th Street

“It’s 50-year-old pavement,” Gleason told FOX 13, adding, “Some stretches of I-15 were put in in the 1960s.”  The UDOT spokesman also referenced I-15 in Box Elder County as one of the worst problem areas.

To report a pothole to UDOT (or see a map of known potholes), visit Click ‘N Fix online or download the app.

Salt Lake City Subreddit Thread Starts Discussion on Worst Streets for Potholes

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Park City isn’t the only Utah city whose residents have pothole problems to deal with.

A self post on r/SaltLakeCity sparked a discussion about local potholes after one Redditor, in a post titled “Potholes on 700E stretch going south between 100S and 400S,” commented, “These are some nasty looking potholes.  Some cars dangerously swerve into the next lane to avoid them.  At first, I thought it was DUI or road rage.  I assume they were made by the snowplows sometime last month.  Has anyone noticed them?”

A few people replied with comments on their own experiences, like one user who wrote, “2700 S between 1300 and 2000 east is just awful.”  (Another Redditor replied, “Yes – it’s not even deep potholes that make it so bad but the numerous manholes, cracks, and resurfaced asphalt.”)

A second posted, “1300 E is also riddled with them.”  A third wrote, “Besides the insane amount of construction, 2100 s between 1100 E and 900 E has a ton of problems as well,” adding, “I’ve tried to contact the streets department of Salt Lake County but it didn’t do anything.”

One Redditor said, “It’s almost as though Salt Lake City has completely given up on road maintenance. 1300 east may as well just have the asphalt stripped down, and let us drive on the dirt below,” prompting another to respond with a Salt Lake Tribune article, published in May 2016, which stated the following:

“According to the survey, optimum management requires at least 40 miles of asphalt overlay per year in Salt Lake City.  But the average from 2009 through 2013 was 5.3 miles or 13 percent of optimum maintenance.”

Also, 185 miles of some type of surface maintenance — like crack filler — should be applied every year.  But the city’s average during the period was 71 miles — 38 percent of the optimum.

Full roadway reconstruction should be accomplished through 18 miles each year, according to the survey.  But the average was 2.12 miles.”

The survey the article references “evaluated [Salt Lake City] roadways for the five-year period from 2009 through 2013.”

Contact a Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyer if You Were Injured in a Crash

Potholes, debris, and other defects increase the risk of an otherwise preventable car accident occurring, and should be repaired by the responsible department within a reasonable period of time.  If you or one of your family members was injured in a vehicular accident caused by a pothole, fallen branches, or other road debris in Northern Utah, you should speak with a Salt Lake City personal injury lawyer about the possibility of getting compensated for your injuries.

Personal injury claims involving government entities can be particularly complex because they are subject to additional regulations and restrictions, so it is vital that you are represented by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.  To discuss your Utah car accident claim in a free and confidential legal consultation, contact the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143.

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