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City of Seattle

January 3, 2:06 PM click here to comment > 1

New Year begins with push to fix pothole backlog

The recent heavy rainfall and subfreezing temperatures have resulted in an unusually large number of potholes on Seattle streets. Starting this week, the city’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) will make a push to catch up on the backlog.

For the next couple of weeks, nine “Pothole Ranger” crews will be working on the city’s streets instead of the normal three crews. Our goal is to reduce the backlog of potholes so that by the end of January we can return to a 72-hour response time for requests to repair potholes. Like much of the maintenance work done by SDOT, filling potholes requires favorable weather.

Potholes are typically caused by water seeping under the surface pavement, and freeze-thaw cycles accelerate the process. In December we received roughly 1,800 requests to fill potholes, compared with approximately 570 requests in December 2009. SDOT accelerated pothole repairs last month. The department was able to assign more staff to filling potholes than originally planned, and pothole crews were able to continue work while other crews prepared for and responded to winter weather conditions throughout the city. Still, there are more than 1,200 requests to fill potholes remaining.

Crews are using a new strategy for fixing potholes, with the expectation that repairs will last three times as long as previous results. Our goal is to respond to each pothole request within three business days of receiving a report. But crews now spend slightly more time repairing individual potholes than in the past, using an enhanced approach.

You can help by reporting potholes on Seattle streets. Call 684-ROAD (7623) or use our online form. We appreciate the assistance and are eager to provide smoother roadways for everyone.

Posted by: Aaron Pickus, Spokesperson


Comment from Kate Laughlin
Time January 4, 2011 at 8:55 am

There is a VERY DANGEROUS collection of potholes where Fremont Ave N dead-ends into 130th N & Bitter Lake. There are orange cones around it, forcing drivers heading N to veer completely into the left lane when cars may be turning S onto Fremont from 130th at a high rate of speed. It’s only a matter of time before a head on collision.
Thank you for all your hard work!