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Who's responsible for fixing that pesky pothole?

Posted at 6:46 AM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 06:46:13-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Potholes along any road can be a nightmare, but trying to get them fixed can also prove to be difficult. 

Just as it was for Ken Addington, who was trying to get potholes along a 500-foot stretch of road in Morgan County fixed for months.

A spat between the county and the state on who owned the road and who was responsible left drivers in the crosshairs.

The road has since been fixed, but there are many similar examples of territory issues over which organization is responsible for maintenance on Indiana roads.

"I've called the county. I've called the state," Addington said. "The people at the local offices are very nice. They say they'll pass this on to our supervisor or our managers. A few days later, I get a call back saying the section of road is not our responsibility."

Requests for repairs for issues are often sent to the wrong agency. 

For example, in Indianapolis, the Department of Public Works gets many requests for potholes on state roads or the interstate, something that isn't its responsibility.

While DPW is good about passing the issue along, other agencies are the complete opposite.

For the most part across the state, INDOT is responsible for interstates, US routes and state routes -- while counties and cities are responsible for the other roads on the county. That part seems simple, but it can get confusing -- because who's responsible for the road can change in the middle of the road.

For example, take Meridian Street on Indianapolis' north side. Inside I-465 is the city's responsibility, but on the other side of I-465, it's the state's. That's the same for Washington and Michigan streets, as well as other state roads.  I-465 divides the responsibility between the state and the city. 

So what's an easy way to tell? If you see an interstate sign, US route sign or state road sign along your drive, it's the state's responsibility and you should call INDOT with issues. But if you don't see them, reach out to the county or city.

Another easy way to tell? Pick up an old-school state map. If the road is on the state map, it's the responsibility of the state. 

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