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Why You Should Care About Cities Cutting Road Maintenance

Portsmouth's City Council is mulling significant budget cuts across the board. But there is one item—low profile but potentially significant—that many people are overlooking.

That issue is road maintenance. Portsmouth's main highways take a beating from heavy container shipments moving through Norfolk International Terminals and the former APM Terminals complex (now known as Virginia International Gateway), and recently the Portsmouth Marine Terminal reopened to container ships.

With other important issues up for discussion, why should you care about road upkeep? What's it matter if a couple more potholes spring up?

Unfortunately, lax road maintenance doesn't just make for a bumpy ride to work or increased delays.

In March, across the country in Portland the Oregon Court of Appeals revived a $3.7 million wrongful death suit. Why? To decide if the city of Portland should be liable for the death of Miss Lindsay Leonard—struck and killed by a grocery delivery driver in a crosswalk. A jury will decide if the city failed to properly maintain the crossing.

If you're following Portsmouth's budget cuts, please keep in mind the following:

  • Rough pavement = increased vehicle operating costs. What's cheaper for the city adds up for you—to the tune of an extra $380 each year between gasoline, worn tires and alignments for the average sedan.
  • A decreased road maintenance budget could affect your commute. As highways deteriorate, construction projects will shift from reducing congestion and bottlenecks to simply keeping the current roads from falling to pieces—likely resulting in increased gridlock.
  • Your safety is at risk. Accidents stemming from potholes and hydroplaning on damaged road surfaces put you and your vehicle in danger, not to mention even more traffic congestion.

Road maintenance isn't a flashy topic—it's one of those issues that only comes up when it isn't functioning properly.


That being said, be sure to look at the Portsmouth City Council's decisions from every angle. The outcomes won't always be so clear-cut unless something goes wrong.

If you believe you've been injured or had a car accident because of a defective roadway, please contact our Virginia attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman. We offer free case reviews and proudly serve clients in Norfolk, Newport News, and Roanoke, Virginia. Call us today at (855) 880-8163.

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