Arizona DOT Recovers Millions in Taxpayer Dollars

AASHTO Journal, 19 April 2013

Arizona Department of Transportation announced this week its Insurance Recovery Unit recouped $2.9 million last year in highway damages, saving taxpayers from shouldering the costs associated with fixing damage done by others.

“Insurance recovery is a key component to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Sonya Herrera, ADOT safety and risk management director, in a statement. “The person who damages state property should be accountable for the associated cost of repairs. This unit helps ensure that this happens.”

ADOT’s Insurance Recovery Unit works to make sure ADOT gets back the money it spent to repair damage done by transportation system users. The repair costs include anything from labor to equipment to materials, which can be costly. Once that money is received from the person who damaged the property, the money goes back into the state highway fund so that taxpayers don’t lose that money.

ADOT points to the recent example of extensive damage done to the Jefferson Overpass in downtown Phoenix last year. A semi driver performed a hit-and-run, causing major damage to the bridge. The Insurance Recovery Unit was able to recover $56,000 for the damage done, working with both the driver and his insurance carrier. Through the last four years, ADOT has processed more than 8,500 claims, recouping millions in taxpayer dollars. ​​​

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