TDOT: Pothole Season Arrives

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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TDOT: Pothole Season Arrives

Posted: 01/12/2017
Winter weather extremes lead to an increase in potholes on state highways and bridges.  Potholes form when moisture seeps into cracks in the pavement, then freezes and thaws causing the cracks to expand.  The constant pounding of traffic loosens the pavement which causes it to crumble, creating potholes.

Severe swings in temperature such as Tennessee has experienced over the past several days, followed by periods of rain, are the perfect conditions for widespread potholes to form. Weather permitting, TDOT crews all over the state are patching potholes on a daily basis. During winter months, TDOT typically relies on a “cold mix” asphalt as a temporary fix. Once warmer weather arrives and “hot mix” asphalt plants are operational, TDOT will perform more permanent repairs. TDOT spends approximately $2 million annually on statewide pothole repair.    

Motorists are advised to be alert and watch for TDOT crews working on the highways and bridges.  Tennessee state law requires motorists to move over or slow down for emergency, maintenance and construction vehicles or face a fine of up to $500.

To report a pothole on a Tennessee interstate or state route, visit  There, you’ll also find a graphic illustrating the birth of a pothole, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, including how to file a damage claim with the Division of Claims Administration, an agency not associated with TDOT.  Please note that your written notice of claim to the Division of Claims Administration should include any facts and details that are relevant to the claim. You must also provide documentation to support your request for damages.

Click here to report a pothole on roads maintained by the City of Knoxville.