Sinking manhole covers damaging cars across Charlotte

Across the City of Charlotte there are hundreds, if not thousands, of manhole covers. Many of them are built into the road creating an access point for underground utilities. Now these common objects in the road are causing problems for drivers and in some cases are damaging vehicles.

Sinking manhole covers can be found on some of Charlotte’s busiest roads including Providence Road, Central Ave. and South Blvd. 

Drivers tell FOX 46 Charlotte some of the sinking manhole covers are similar to potholes, so they take evasive action to avoid hitting them.

“I do, but I try to move over in a safe way,” said driver, Renee Sesser

Sometimes there is no safe way to move over, putting drivers right in line for that dip in the road, damaging their vehicle.

“I had a horrible experience where I tried to avoid it, but couldn’t and ran over it and my tire blew,” said driver, Julianna Nwobi.

That repair cost Nwobi hundreds of dollars. Depending on your coverage, sometimes car insurance won’t pay for the repairs.

Charlotte Department of Transportation leaders acknowledge Charlotte area roads sometimes aren’t the smoothest and it’s because of these sinking manhole covers.

In a statement to FOX 46 Charlotte they said: “Utilities use a variety of different materials to “make-up” the gap between the top of the physical manhole below and where the manhole lid needs to be.  Water intrusion, material failures and poor installation methods may cause these failures. The City owned manholes (CLT Water and Storm Water Services) are typically repaired/adjusted in a timely manner when an issue is identified.”

“Yeah I hope they fix those, they’re everywhere,” said Nwobi.

CDOT leaders say many of the manhole covers in the road are owned by telecommunication and energy companies, which the city is not responsible for repairing.

If you spot a sinking manhole cover within the City of Charlotte that you believe is causing a problem, you are asked to call 311 to file a report.