City has received more claims this year for pothole damage than in the past four years

CLEVELAND - The City of Cleveland has approved just eight claims for pothole damage this year out of a total of 661 claims.

“Only eight, only eight, wow,” said Christine Bailey, a Cleveland Heights resident. “There should have been a lot more.”

“What?” said Ron Szaibel, a Cleveland resident. “Oh Lord, this is going to go on forever.”

The eight claims total almost $2,812.82. The city denied our request for an interview with the claims department.

“No, it does not alarm me,” said Michael Cox, the city’s director of public works. “It does not alarm me. It is what it is.”

Cox oversees city street repairs, including pothole fixes. He said he could not comment on the low number of approved claims since he does not handle or rule on them.

“We have more potholes this year than I have seen in a long time,” added Cox. “Be patient, we’ll be there. We’ll get them all done, every street in the city.”

The number of claims this year reflect the severity of the problem. This year’s claims are the highest in the past four years. In 2013, the city said it received 588 claims. Of that, it approved 93. In 2012, it received 176 and approved 50 claims.

“I got little chance of success,” said George Johnson, a Cleveland resident who ran over a pothole last year which in turn caused $800 worth of damage to his son’s car.

Johnson has been contemplating whether to claim the damage to the car.

The city said it has used almost 3,000 tons of asphalt to fill potholes since the beginning of the year. The city of Columbus said it has used 2,153 tons of asphalt this year.

“Step it up,” said Bailey in reference to the city and the pothole problem. “They’re there to take care of us and clearly with the potholes the way they area, they’re not doing it. Patchwork can only get you so far.”

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