One more post-snow problem – more potholes. So we asked SDOT about what’s planned and what to do if you notice new/renewed potholes. The email reply from SDOT’s Mariam Ali:
SDOT crews work year round to fill potholes, and filled over 14,000 potholes in 2021. But winter storms cause substantial damage to our roads and cause previously filled potholes to reappear throughout Seattle. We are expecting to receive a surge of requests to fill potholes in the coming weeks, and ask for the public’s patience as it will take us longer than usual to respond as our crews continue to work day and night to respond to a large number of storm-related issues.
Last year, we filled 85% of potholes within three business days after they are reported to us, however, with the recent snow and ice this may take longer than usual. The crew members who fill potholes are the same people who have been working day and night for the past 12 days on storm-response activities like driving snow plows and shoveling walkways. We’re still working incredibly hard to deal with multiple challenges and are prioritize our work based on public safety.
Snow and ice causes damage to our roadways as water finds its way into cracks in the pavement. Freezing temperatures causes the trapped water to expand into sharp ice which cuts through the pavement and forces apart fissions in the roadway. When heavy vehicles like trucks and buses drive over these fissures, pieces of pavement break loose and form larger holes.
The weather will continue to be a big challenge all winter long, as future storms may cause more potholes to form. Repairs that we make in weather like this don’t always last because the asphalt won’t bind to the surrounding pavement well when it’s too cold or wet. So many of the potholes we fill today will likely need to be repaired again over the next few months until the weather is warmer.
New potholes appear all the time, and we can only fix potholes that we know about. If you see a pothole, report it on the report it on the FindIt FixIt App, submit an online report, email 684-ROAD@seattle.gov or call us at 206-684-ROAD . To learn more about where potholes have been reported and filled, check out our interactive Pothole Repair Status map. This map shows the locations of all the potholes which have been filled in the past 90 days (one dot may represent up to 30 potholes on a single block):