SAN DIEGO — Potholes are popping up with each storm, despite crews trying to fill them as fast as they can.
“Whatever the number of potholes we have, the goal is zero,” said Jose Ysea, spokesperson for the City of San Diego Office of Emergency Services.
In January, pothole reports on the city’s Get It Done app reached a high of more than 2,200.
“We have staff that are going through the reports and seeing how big the potholes are, which ones are maybe in a certain area where we can just go and take a chunk of them off the list at once,” Ysea said.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announced an “all hands on deck approach” with 150 city staff working seven days a week, including nights and weekends to catch up on the ever-growing backlog.
In February the reports dropped to around 300, but not before more storms caused the reports to spike again.
On days like we saw this week where rain is actively falling, that work stops altogether. The pothole patches themselves, filled with asphalt, are meant to be a band aid.
“Some of them can last weeks, months, maybe even years, but others can crumble within a week or two because of the different environments that they’re in,” Ysea said.
If a particular area is experiencing a larger issue beneath the surface, that’s one of the main reasons why you won’t see a street be repaved entirely.
“If we have sewer lines or water mains that need to be replaced, we don’t want to lay down a whole new street because then will have to come back and tear up again to do a water line or sewer replacement,” Ysea said.
The city says before they can get to long-term repairs, right now the goal is to quickly reduce the risk to public safety on the roads by filling as many potholes as they can.
The city’s Get It Done app continues to be the best way to report a pothole. During the year, the average response window for a pothole is about nine days or less, but that can jump to 28 days with inclement weather.