The driver of a vehicle damaged on the Island Highway this winter during an explosion of weather-related potholes is upset to find out he’s been left holding the bill.
Brent Carson of Parksville Qualicum Beach said one of his vehicle’s tires was destroyed on Dec. 27 and needed to be replaced, so he submitted a claim to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI). Two-and-a-half months later, the ministry replied and informed him the claim would be forwarded to Mainroad Mid-Island Contracting.
Mainroad told Carson, in an email, its workers patrol the highway several times every 24 hours. It received a report of the pothole and a crew repaired it overnight.
“In having met our response time, there is no reason to believe we acted negligently or that we did not respond appropriately,” the email to Carson reads.
Carson said he does not think it is possible Mainroad was patrolling every 24 hours because of the high number of flat tires local drivers experienced.
“It’s frustrating. It’s unfortunate for me, but it’s kind of frustrating because there are so many people that had it happen and they just say, ‘well, we’re not really responsible,’ — then I’m not sure who is,” said Carson.
Damage from potholes on Highway 19 during a periodin late December and early January resulted in approximately 90 claims to the maintenance contractor responsible for the highway section, according to MOTI.
“We have received several claims for damages incurred to vehicles due to potholes throughout the winter season. The number of claims was much higher than usual due to the severe winter conditions. Each claim needs to be individually investigated, and this process can take many weeks. We plan on responding to all outstanding claims within the next week,” reads a statement by Noel Mankey, VP of operations for Mainroad.
Carson said at this point, he does not plan to pursue the matter further.