Crews rely on citizens to report potholes. Once the call is logged, it is then assigned to a field supervisor for inspection. After this evaluation, a work order is generated for either a permanent or temporary repair. If a pothole requires a temporary patch, a work order is then generated for a permanent repair.
Winter weather is especially hard on city streets. Potholes can be caused by water in the pores and cracks of pavement freezing and expanding, then thawing. More moisture can then enter and the cycle repeats. The repeated expansion forces weaken and break apart the pavement and, as vehicles drive over the weakened areas, potholes are gouged from the concrete or asphalt surface.
What's a Temporary Repair?
Pothole patching is only a temporary repair. It consists of filling depressions in the pavement with cold-lay ashphalt, hot asphalt or a mixture of aggregate and binder materials which can be injected into the holes.
Almost all potholes are patched within 72 hours of being reported to the Customer Care Center. Many are patched within 24 hours or on the same day the call is received.
Street Maintenance Crews made more than 70,000 temporary pothole repairs in fiscal 2010. Tens of thousands per year is not uncommon, especially when we have winters with a lot of freeze-and-thaw cycles and a lot of moisture. The cost of making temporary repairs typically runs from $3 to $9 per pothole.
What's a Permanent Repair?
Permanent repairs, which are more expensive and time consuming and require specialized equipment and skilled labor and other materials, usually involve removing sections of worn or badly damaged pavement "usually to the nearest pavement joint" and replacing it with new reinforced concrete or asphalt. Sometimes it also includes replacing base materials beneath the pavement. The average permanent repair involves an area of about 10 x 10 feet with about 6.19 cubic yards of paving material and the costs average about $1,500 per site, with some costing considerably more.
Permanent repairs are usually made by contractors instead of by City employees.