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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Florida has held a gridiron advantage over Tennessee in recent years, but Tennessee beats Florida by a mile when it comes to roadways.

 Florida roads were ranked third worst for potholes and poor repair in a recent study of roads in 38 states and Washington, D.C., by the Surface Transportation Policy Project, a non-profit coalition of 175 local and national transportation policy groups.

 Tennessee fell in the middle, with 18 states better and 20 worse.

 However, Dr. Steve Richards of the University of Tennessee Transportation Center said road maintenance is good in Tennessee considering the state’s overall economic growth and other factors.

 “Given the state’s traffic volume, growth, high volume of truck traffic and sometimes severe winter weather, we do a good job here in Tennessee of maintaining our roads,” Richards said.

 Richards said pothole problems often are caused by freezing and thawing weather patterns or, as in Florida’s case, heavy traffic and rapid population growth.

 Tennessee has had some of both, but state and municipal authorities seem vigilant in repairing potholes, he said.

 “Florida has had a tremendous explosion of population and travel year-round. They’re having problems keeping up with it,” Richards said. “Here, it is more of a seasonal thing. As soon as winter ends, we go out and repair most of our potholes.”


 Contact: Dr. Steve Richards (423-974-5225)