NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — A majority of the claims filed by drivers whose vehicles were damaged by several large potholes on Route 146 in North Smithfield have been resolved, Call 12 for Action has learned.
Charles St. Martin, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) said the agency received 95 claims from the January 24, 2019 incident that brought traffic to a standstill.
St. Martin said most of the claims have been paid, totaling $29,873.91. Some claims require additional documents, and others are being finalized and processed, he said.
Because the damage occurred in a work zone, the typical $300 maximum reimbursement did not apply to claims.
At the time, RIDOT Director Peter Alviti held a news conference to answer questions about the incident.
“We had a lot of rain, followed by a very quick freeze,” he explained. “Water will find its way under the pavement. It freezes and expands, and then you get a very warm day like today, where it thaws and the pavement collapses and breaks apart.”
As Call 12 for Action previously reported, in 2018, 722 pothole claims were filed with RIDOT. The state paid 427 of them.