KOLD Investigates: Damage claims cost more than gravel fix for I-10

Published: Dec. 23, 2019 at 3:56 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Calls, emails and social media messages poured into the KOLD news room for months complaining about the condition of Interstate 10 between Sunset Road exit and Miracle Mile exit.

First was the story of frustrated drivers.

“Tell the doubters to drive down that stretch and make sure they do it a couple times, then they can feel like they’re in a Midwest hailstorm,” said Jack Ferguson in January.

Next came the story of windshield repairmen working around-the-clock during what’s typically a slow season.

"Yeah, it's been busy," said George Bockman with Wisecrack Auto Glass. "Eight, nine, 10 jobs a day."

Now KOLD has learned settling claims, with drivers who reported the damage to the state, was more expensive than the actual fix for I-10.

State crews milled the surface of I-10 between Ruthrauff exit and Miracle Mile exit at the end of January. The top layer or rubberized asphalt had deteriorated, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The work cost ADOT roughly $250,000, according to the department's public information office.

The remaining concrete surface is as safe as asphalt, according to ADOT. It will be in place for the immediate future.

While drivers expressed their frustrations, ADOT encouraged anyone with damage to contact the department.

More than 500 claims were filed from October 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019, according to a records request with the Arizona Department of Administration. As of this report, more than 300 of those 511 claims paid out at least $302,000.

The average payout was almost $600, while the median was closer to $190. The biggest settlement was $12,000.

At least 87 claims were denied, according to records provided by the ADOA. The rules for claims are outlined in Arizona Revised Statute 12-821.01.

It states anyone interested in making one has to file within 180 days of the incident in question. The reason for the claim needs to include the dollar amount of the damage and any explanation or evidence to support it.

If your claim is unresolved after 60 days of filing it, you then have a year to file a new one.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.