From Kingman to Williams, potholes along I-40 causing problems

One company says some drivers are even calling tow companies in Las Vegas and waiting more than five hours for help.
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 8:49 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 28, 2023 at 9:49 PM MST
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KINGMAN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Tow truck companies along Interstate 40 from Kingman to Williams say they are becoming overwhelmed as the number of people calling for help after hitting a pothole continues to grow. A company we spoke with says some drivers are even calling tow companies in Las Vegas and waiting more than five hours for help.

Seligman Fire tells Arizona’s Family recently, at any given time, there are about ten vehicles on the side of the road on I-40 with blown-out tires. Just today, a trailer rolled over in Seligman after hitting a pothole.

Wendy Quinlan is the manager at Historic Route 66 Auto and Towing in Seligman. “Out of the 50 plus calls we get every day, we are only able to help a quarter of those people,” Quinlan said. “All of us are so exhausted. The tow companies out of Kingman, some of them won’t even come out here anymore. They just can’t keep up with the demand.”

She says potholes are taking over I-40 from Kingman to Seligman, some two feet deep and unavoidable. Seligman Fire says today a trailer rolled over after hitting a pothole, and just last month, a woman hit one, drove into the median, and rolled over. They had to pull her out of her car. “I don’t foresee it getting any better until they can get out there and pull up the actual road, close down one side of the interstate totally and make one side two lanes and totally redo part of the road there,” Quinlan said.

Steve Elliot with the Arizona Department of Transportation says the winter weather has created challenges in the high country others aren’t facing. “That pavement will freeze overnight, thaw during the day and that happens a couple hundred times during the year and that can really stress the pavement,” Elliot said.

Short-term ADOT is using patching materials as an immediate fix. But a long-term fix won’t happen until the pavement dries out so they can remove some of it around the pothole and use tools to smooth it out. But Quinlan says for people’s safety, more needs to be done sooner. “Putting extra signs up and reducing speed limits. Hitting that pothole at 45 mph isn’t going to be as detrimental,” Quinlan says.

Elliot says ADOT plans to fix the pavement across 50 miles of I-40 in the next several years. To report potholes to ADOT, click here.