Log in Subscribe

Watch out for those potholes!

By ZOË HAGGARD - zhaggard@t-g.com
Posted 1/11/22

Freezing winter weather has left many potholes bigger and deeper across Shelbyville City and Bedford County roads.  

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Watch out for those potholes!


Freezing winter weather has left many potholes bigger and deeper across Shelbyville City and Bedford County roads.  

“Whenever you get the freeze/thaw to any part of the road that’s weak or has a patch, there’s a tendency for the patch to come out,” said Shelbyville Public Works Director Buck Vallad.  

“The conditions of the hole, whatever you’re patching, you don’t want any water, you don’t want any ice because the patch won’t hold.” Freezing water changes the volume between the ground and the patch. So, if the patch gets hit, it’s loosened.  

“For the most part, the roads are doing pretty good this time of year,” Vallad said. “However, there are several roads giving drivers a bit of a bumpy ride.”  

For example, Vallad said spots on West Lane, Cannon Boulevard, and Morton Street are giving public works the most work. Vallad said by the end of this week, they will have these potholes filled. West Lane is on Public Works’ list for repaving in the upcoming year.  

“Our plan is to let things warm up here. This week looks pretty good, so we’ll be able to get them all filled back in. It’ll be a constant battle,” he said.  

The material costs around $20,000, according to Vallad. This plus labor leads pothole repairs to be around $40,000 annually. 

Multiple potholes on U.S. 231 North, especially between the 437 Bypass and the Shelbyville Municipal Airport, have emerged. However, that section of highway is under the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s responsibility, according to Vallad.  

While running through their garbage route throughout Shelbyville, Vallad’s crew keeps an eye out for where the potholes are. But, “If people want to call in a pothole, that would be fantastic, too. It’s hard to be everywhere at once,” Vallad said. The public works office can be reached at 931-684-2644.  

As long as they have sun, public works can usually fill in a pothole with no problem. However, occasionally, “If it’s something that’s bad enough, we’ll go fill it in, knowing that we’re going to have to go back there and do it again, just so it doesn’t cause any damage to vehicles,” Vallad said.  

When driving over a pothole  

Several auto insurance companies suggest slowing down and releasing your brakes before hitting a pothole. Coasting over a pothole allows your car’s suspension to absorb the hit. It is also recommended to hit the pothole squarely. Hitting at an angle could cause more damage to your car. Lastly, hold the steering wheel firmly so you don’t lose control of your vehicle