MESA, AZ — ABC15 has learned 142 East Valley commuters are looking to claim more than $300,000 in damages to their vehicles from ADOT after weekend construction work on the US 60 between Greenfield and Gilbert roads.
ABC15 obtained this information from the Arizona Department of Administration - Risk Management through a public records request between Nov. 10, 2021, and Jan. 18, 2022.
So far, the state has paid Valley drivers who filed a claim more than $85,000. They tell ABC15, they are pursuing reimbursement from the contractor.
ABC15 covered the initial issues back in November of 2021. The eastbound US 60 from Gilbert and Greenfield roads in the East Valley was closed for road maintenance and pavement removal over the weekend. On Monday morning, when the section of the highway reopened, drivers were forced to drive through a cloud of dust while being pelted with debris.
"It was like driving through a hailstorm," commented Julie Benzer on an ABC15 Facebook post. "Asphalt pieces flying everywhere."
Early Monday morning, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) tweeted a dust advisory for the area and told ABC15 that they are aware of the problem, and working with the contractor, McNeil Brothers Inc., to address it.
ADOT ended up sending McNeil Brothers Inc. back out to the area for two more nights and closed the roadway during their work.
ABC15 has called McNeil Brothers Inc. multiple times. We have never received a call back. They continue to do work in the Valley with their current contract.
ABC15 has asked ADOT for an on-camera interview about this issue multiple times since November. Our requests have always been declined.
By phone, Megan Thompson spoke with an ADOT spokesperson who said, they would not be doing an interview because the issue has been fixed and it is not an ongoing problem.
Anyone whose vehicle was damaged can submit a complaint through the Arizona Department of Administration Risk Management website. You can use the website to find the best form to submit a complaint. ADOA says drivers have 180 days from the day of the incident to file.
As for how they decide which driver's claims will be paid, they say, "The state makes a determination based on a number of factors that include the damages claimed, and the year, make, and model of the vehicle."
Have a road issue or a question for the Operation Safe Roads team to look into? You can call 833-AZ-ROADS or email email@example.com.