Department of Public Works Fills More Than 31,000 Potholes, Exceeds Annual Goal

The Public Works Roadway Maintenance Division has repaired more than 31,000 potholes so far this year. This marks the third year running that DPW has far exceeded the usual 18,000 annual repairs. In 2018, about 26,900 potholes were fixed, compared to just under 25,000 the year before.

In 2017, Mayor Levar M. Stoney asked city employees to elevate the level of service provided to city residents. The DPW Pothole Crew redefined some of its internal procedures and set a goal to fill 20,000 potholes. It surpassed that target by nearly 5,000 repairs, achieving a department milestone.

“When we invest in our infrastructure, we invest in our future,” said Mayor Stoney. “I’m proud our Public Works team rose to our high expectations this year. Now, after a banner year filling thousands of potholes, we’re providing a long-term solution: a historic investment in paving.”

DPW attributes the increase in pothole repairs to its acquisition of two pothole trucks that are revolutionizing the way the city fills potholes. Each truck requires only one operator, instead of a crew. The truck’s mechanical arm expels air to remove water from a hole, then layers in the materials needed to make the repair. This 10 minute per pothole process accounted for 3,000 repairs this year.

In addition, Mayor Stoney’s most recent budget included a $15 million further investment in paving in FY2020, allowing DPW to address potholes as paving takes place. The paving plan prioritizes streets with the highest need, enabling crews to address potholes not yet in the system and focus on areas that may receive less attention than main thoroughfares.