Philly pothole problems sees decline from last year

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Streets Department says so far this pothole season they've fixed more than 30,000 holes throughout the city.

That's nearly half of the number of repairs completed this time last year, according to Streets Department officials.

It's a success officials largely attribute to a comprehensive and ongoing street paving program aimed at repairing older roads more prone to potholes.

Still, there are plenty of drivers who say they've had their share of close calls with those familiar bowl-shaped openings.

"I ended up with a flat tire two weeks ago," said Kim Okeefe from Northeast Philadelphia.

"I've actually blown two tires in the past two years," said John Warren of Tacony.

Between crews on the street and their pothole patcher the Streets Department says they've responded to calls as fast they've come in, even in downpours like Monday's never-ending deluge.

"Our goal is a service time of three days from the day it's called in to the day it's repaired," said Streets Department Chief Highway Engineer Steve Lorenz.

Streets Department officials say once the patcher is out, crews will look for other holes than can be repaired along the way.

The machine fixes the holes in about three to four steps.

First, air is blown into the void, then it is filled with a special solution that allows gravel to stick, then its topped off with more gravel before it's flattened by the truck and other traffic.

"If it's a lighter rain it will work, but you get a heavier rain like we're experiencing right now it's a little bit more challenging," Lorenz said.

Streets Department officials say the best way to report potholes is by calling 311.
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