City of Tulsa Public Works crews patch 15,302 potholes since Jan. 29 since Mayor Kathy Taylor launches the “Pothole Patrol” program.
Figuring crews work an 8-hour shift five days a week filling potholes, that is more than 150 holes an hour since Jan. 29. Bob Bledsoe in City Communications shrugs his shoulders at the number.
“Fixing potholes is one thing the city does best,” said Bledsoe, city spokesman. “It is not aIl that unusual to patch 1,000 to 1,700 a day.”
City crews still use a shovel to fill the holes with asphalt and rock, something Bledsoe referred to as “aggregate.” Faster methods include a hose that blows water and debris from the hole then fills it with the aggregate.
“Someone calls in with a report and crews find that pothole and 17 more in the surrounding area,” Bledsoe said.
The city Crews might keep paper records of the holes they fill or make a verbal report to City Hall.
Winter is typically the worst time of the year for potholes. Moisture enters small cracks or cavities in pavement, then expands and contracts as it freezes and thaws, exerting destructive forces on both asphalt and concrete.
Pothole reports declined substantially since the first week following Tulsa’s January ice storm, but crews are patrolling the streets and filling thousands of potholes a day as weather permits. The program encourages citizens to report potholes.
Interested Tulsans can track the city’s pothole progress online: http://www.cityoftulsa.org/CityServices/Streets/PotholeRepair.asp.