FOX13 Investigates: Mangled in the Metro

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are many dangers Memphis drivers keep an eye out for.

From reckless drivers to speeders, to people doing donuts in the middle of the road.

Memphis drivers also have a lot of opinions on how safe the roads are in the Bluff City.

“It’s almost like they don’t care or they only care about certain neighborhoods,” Memphis driver Reverend Regina Clark.

In a FOX13 investigation, we found a new danger for drivers.


They have been beaten up, severely damaged, and in some cases, mangled on the interstates. Many have been left untouched, turning into a possible safety hazard.

Rev. Clark told FOX13 she feels like many roads are forgotten.

“It amazes how you’ll be in one block, and I’ll feel like somebody just blew up the roads and then you go another block and it’s just perfectly fine,” Rev. Clark said.

FOX13 Investigates traveled around the interstate system in Memphis from the flyover to 285, down to I-240 in Midtown and found at least 4 severely damaged guardrails.

Along I-240 near the Lamar and Airways exit, there’s a guardrail that looks like it’s been ripped up and twisted from an apparent accident. FOX13 Investigates even found a car emblem left in the dirt as debris from the apparent accident.

Rev. Clark told FOX13 sights like that scare her.

“You can only imagine what happened,” said Rev. Clark.

FOX13 also spoke to Memphis driver Harold Ivy. Looking at a photo of a mangled guardrail, Ivy questions who is supposed to fix them.

“I know it was an accident,” said Ivy. " Somebody supposed to be trying to fix it right?”

FOX13 Investigates went looking for answers on who is responsible for fixing the damaged, mangled guardrails.

The responsibility falls on the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

Nichole Lawrence, a spokeswoman for the transportation department, told FOX13 they hire a third-party contractor to fix the damaged guardrails.

Lawrence said those contractors have a specific amount of time to make repairs.

“Dependent on the severity, the type, and the location as well, they have anywhere from 14 to 30 days to get those repairs made,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence told FOX13 in order for TDOT contractors to fix the guardrails, they have to be reported. Lawrence says some reports come from drivers themselves through TDOT’s fix-it line. However, some are spotted by TDOT workers.

“Just on our routine maintenance crews that are out checking our highways on a daily basis,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence told FOX13 TDOT gets anywhere from 50 to 70 calls a month for damaged guardrails across West Tennessee.

“It’s all forms of damage to our guardrails,” said Lawrence. “Whether it’s the smaller ones or the larger ones and you have to think that’s all types of damage to our guardrails.”

While TDOT contractors get anywhere from 2 weeks to a month to fix damaged guardrails, drivers like Rev. Clark tell FOX13 that’s too much.

“They need to be fixed within a week at least because that’s more and more that there are going to be more and more problems,” said Rev. Clark.

If you see any kind of damage along Memphis interstates, whether that is a damaged guardrail or even a pothole, you can report it to TDOT.

There are several ways to report the damage. One way is by submitting a TDOT Maintenance Request Form or you can call TDOT’s fix line at 833-TDOTFIX (833-836-8349).