CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -
The South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund paid out $782,794.81 to government agencies from April 1 through June for claims related to potholes, according to public records.
The IRF listed more than 115 payouts that involved the South Carolina Department of Transportation because of claims described as "States-Highways - Manhole, Pothole, Drain."
Combining paid loses and paid expenses, the IRF funded more than $744,000 in payouts for pothole-related claims involving SCDOT during the three months.
Several people living in Charleston say the issue of potholes is nothing new.
"I've been born and raised in Charleston and we've had potholes forever," Charleston resident Wendell Varner said.
Potholes in South Carolina roads have left a lot of drivers with damaged tires and cars.
"I hit a pothole which completely blew out the tire of my car and that was about $400 worth of damage, and luckily it didn't break the rim," Charleston resident Daniel Puente said.
Puente said he's left asking why SCDOT would not pay more to fix current potholes, rather than waiting to pay for claims made about them.
"Why should the taxpayers be paying for this when we're already paying a tax to have the potholes fixed?" Puente asked.
In a press release from June, DOT Secretary Christy Hall said, "I am very proud of the SCDOT Team."
That pride comes from what DOT officials say has been a 5% increase in the quality of our paved roads in the first year of the department 10-year pavement plan.
"We've got to figure out a way to get it done very quickly," Varner said. "I think 10 years is way too long to be waiting on it."
Puente said he is also hoping SCDOT will pick up the pace.
"I would love to see them fixed tomorrow," Puente said. "Unfortunately, I don't think that will happen."
SCDOT officials said they would provide a response on Tuesday.
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