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NORFOLK---Are taxpayers paying more for what may be a lower level of maintenance on area highways? Poor maintenance is what some say led to dozens of crater-like potholes on I-264 last Friday.

It's a question 13News is asking the Department of Transportation as part of an ongoing investigation.

VDOT used to do maintenance work itself, including pothole repair, before a state mandated outsourcing of road repairs led the department to its' current contractor, TME Enterprises.

According to data obtained by 13News Friday, in the last full fiscal year before TME took over, the department spent $5.8 million on road maintenance on the southside.

In TME's first year of their contract in 2009, they were given just over $6.4 million to do the same work.

VDOT officials said their 2007 price tag doesn't include worker salaries, but they weren't able to specify those exact costs or whether contracting the work is a better deal.

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