Winter storms prompt San Diego to nearly triple pothole repair crews

San Diego is tripling the size of its pothole repair team and expanding the team’s hours in response to a rash of new potholes that have popped up across the city during recent winter storms.

The city is redeploying workers to increase the number of two-man pothole crews from nine to 26. In addition, some crews are operating their patch trucks 10 hours per day instead of eight, and some crews are working Saturday shifts.

“Our roads took a beating from repeated storms so we’re going to take advantage of this dry spell to fill as many potholes as we can,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a Thursday news release. “That means more crews in every neighborhood filling more potholes than ever before.”

San Diego typically fills about 30,000 potholes a year, but is well ahead of that pace this year, officials said.

Residents can make repair requests on the Get It Done smartphone app or on the city’s website, sandiego.gov.

Councilwoman Monica Montgomery, who represents southeastern San Diego, praised the mayor’s decision to expand the crews and their hours.

“The condition of our streets has been a long-standing concern of our residents,” she said. “I want to thank our streets division crews for executing this important quality-of-life work.”

The expansion of pothole crews comes one month after city officials revealed a slurry seal pavement contractor had botched at least eight jobs across San Diego in recent months and must re-do them.

Faulconer said then that contractors performing substandard work will not be tolerated.

Last fall, Faulconer announced city crews had met, two years early, his goal of paving or sealing 1,000 miles of streets in the five-year period between July 2015 and June 2020.

San Diego revamped its approach to potholes to be more neighborhood-specific in 2014.

Crews had been deployed based on complaints from residents about specific potholes, forcing them to travel many miles across the city on some days. Under the revamped approach, the city instead focuses resources in targeted areas.

An independent assessment of city streets in 2016 showed significant improvement compared to 2011. In 2016, 60 percent of the city’s 2,800 miles of streets were classified in good condition, compared to 35 percent in 2011.

A new assessment is scheduled to begin late this year and conclude in 2020.

Residents can see detailed street information, including maps of ongoing work and schedules for future jobs, at streets.sandiego.gov.

david.garrick@sduniontribune.com (619) 269-8906 Twitter:@UTDavidGarrick

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