SDOT says it’s working on post-freeze potholes

(SDOT pothole crew, photo via

If you’ve noticed new and/or worsened potholes since the recent subfreezing cold, SDOT says it’s on them – provided somebody has reported them:

The Seattle Department of Transportation filled 25,000 potholes in 2023, the most potholes filled in the past five years. Crews are continuing to work hard to address more potholes caused by recent freezing temperatures.

SDOT typically fills over 80% of potholes within three days after receiving a request from the public. While this is always the goal, it may take longer than usual to repair all the street damage after a severe winter storm or prolonged freezing temperatures when hundreds of potholes can suddenly appear all at once.

Every winter, storms and freezing temperatures damage Seattle’s streets, as water from rain and snow finds its way through cracks in the ground and erode the pavement. When the temperatures drop below freezing, this water expands into ice which forces the cracks apart and slices up our streets from the inside out. This causes previously filled potholes to reappear. SDOT is prepared for many new potholes to appear this winter due to recent freezing weather and the possibility of more winter storms to come.

SDOT also proactively looks for potholes before they are reported by the public. This year, crews will patrol major streets to search for new potholes. They will prioritize looking along snow plow routes, which are the most essential streets in the City’s transportation system and experience an increase in heavy vehicles during winter storms making them the most likely place for new potholes to appear.

It may take SDOT longer than usual to respond to potholes during severe weather because the crew members who fill potholes are the same people who work day-and-night during storms to drive snow plows, shovel snow, clear landslides, and respond to flooding. When SDOT is faced with multiple challenges, we prioritize our work to promote public safety.

Potholes are less likely to occur on streets that have been recently paved. Thanks to the Levy to Move Seattle, SDOT has re-paved over 215 miles of Seattle streets since 2016. SDOT crews also add a thin layer of protective sealant to over 200 blocks of city streets a year to keep water out and extend the life of the pavement.

SDOT crews cannot fill a pothole that they do not know about. The public can report new potholes to SDOT in a variety of ways, including using the Find It, Fix It App, submitting an online report, emailing, or calling SDOT at (206) 684-ROAD (7623).

8 Replies to "SDOT says it's working on post-freeze potholes"

  • Lola January 30, 2024 (1:04 pm)

    The question I have is Why Do All of These Builders of Apts. & Buildings when they dig up the Street, why are they allowed to do a Shoddy Job of repaving it?  Example on Oregon and California next to Shadowland you cross over heading West in your car and a deep newly filled asphalt is now pitted and cracked and my tires now dip down into it unless I swerve to avoid it while heading West in my car. It’s not hard to miss as I think there is a manhole cover that was also taken right next to it and was replaced by the City so nobody would fall into it.  

    • John Smith January 30, 2024 (9:09 pm)

      Lola, temporary patching of a trench/ditch is done with “cold mix,” which does not hold up well to traffic (especially bus or truck traffic). Call the City to complain, and that should result in the contractor fixing the cold mix. If the street at that spot is concrete, the permanent repair is a new panel of concrete. If the street is asphalt, the permanent repair will be asphalt. The permanent fix can be delayed by weather or pavers’ schedules.

      • Lola January 31, 2024 (7:17 am)

        John,  it is all up and down on California Ave.  I have never seen any Concrete poured after they have to rip up the street to add more Pipes as they are building an Apt. Building.  These are not temporary trenches that I can tell????   I have already gone on the app. and reported the one by Shadowland as I do not want to have to get new tires.  Our streets are a mess to begin with they do not take care of our roads our highway’s anymore unless someone complains or gets injured. 

  • Christopher B. January 30, 2024 (3:46 pm)

    I always find it helpful to look at SDOT’s interactive pothole map, so you can see what has been reported, what is still pending repair, etc.

  • Pigeon eater January 30, 2024 (7:49 pm)

    Rob “Pothole King” Saka, please save us! 🙏🙏

  • anonyme January 31, 2024 (5:21 am)

    I wonder how cost-effective it is to fill 25,000 potholes per year vs. just repairing/replacing our streets.

    • K January 31, 2024 (2:17 pm)

      Far cheaper to fill the potholes.  FAR cheaper.

  • KA January 31, 2024 (12:12 pm)

    Thank you to these workers! 

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