Pothole causing major problems for Bellevue residents - WSMV Channel 4

Pothole causing major problems for Bellevue residents

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The pothole has been causing issues for drivers near a shopping center. (WSMV) The pothole has been causing issues for drivers near a shopping center. (WSMV)
BELLEVUE, TN (WSMV) -

Potholes and traffic jams are what everyone hates the most about driving in Middle Tennessee.

One man was so fed up with all the damage caused to cars that he literally took the problem into his own hands.

The deceptively large pothole is in a place where most of you would never expect.

On Highway 70 South, directly across the road from the brand new $200 million Bellevue Place Mall, which is still under construction, sits the Galleries Shopping Center. The older shopping plaza has familiar names like Taco Bell, Sonic, Home Depot and Cross Point Church.

When it's time to leave the shopping complex, drivers start doing the pothole slalom.

While a lot of them avoid the potholes, others aren't so lucky.

"When you hit the potholes, you know ... you just feel like you bust a tire or something, or you're gonna bend a tie rod in, or something like that," said frustrated driver Rick Hurlburt.

"I'm thinking ... why? Why is no one working on it?" said Jacklin Fam.

"They're terrible. Your whole wheel can go down into the bottom of them. You're gonna break your wheel off or tear something out from underneath your truck," said frustrated driver Nichole Choate.

The area around the pothole is littered with car parts.

Less than a month ago, News 4's Tom Randles hit the pothole while approaching the stop sign. At that time, the pothole was 30 inches across and 10 inches deep. His car bottomed out, and the repair bill was more than $1,500.

Apparently, everyone who regularly uses this shopping center cut-through is familiar with this hazard.

"If I want to go to Michaels, Dollar Tree, any store close ... I have to pass this, and I have to hit my car," Fam said.

The pothole problem has been an issue in the area for a long time.

Even before Goodwill replaced the old Toys"R"Us store three years ago, you can see evidence that repairs had been made at the intersection.

"You have to dodge 'em. You know they're there. But. sometimes, you know ... you just forget. And you hit the thing ... and you have a few choice words, you know," Hulburt said.

News 4 was surprised and encouraged to find an unidentified man doing his part to make sure no one else's car ever sees the bottom of the pothole again.

It's not clear if he represents the people who run the shopping center or what drove him to fill in the hole.

Regardless, a lot of unsuspecting drivers would be eternally grateful if they knew just how much heartache, aggravation, time and money this mysterious man with gravel just saved them.

"If they want people to drive through and use it, then they need to take care of their roads, so that we're not damaging vehicles and we can actually enjoy the shopping center ... and spend our money elsewhere - other than our deductible," Choate said.

News 4 reached out to the management company in charge of the Galleries Shopping Center in Bellevue to ask them why, after so many months and years, they haven't permanently repaired such a large and dangerous pothole. We are still waiting on a response.

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