Tucson drivers will have to keep swerving
DOT says pothole maintenance won't ramp up till after holidays
These past couple weeks, the Old Pueblo has seen all the ingredients in the recipe for potholes. Rain has saturated Tucson streets. Without sun and warmth, that water stays. Mix in heavy traffic and the pressure is enough to break pavement. Potholes Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - These past couple weeks, the Old Pueblo has seen all the ingredients in the recipe for potholes. Rain has saturated Tucson streets. Without sun and warmth, that water stays. Mix in heavy traffic and the pressure is enough to break pavement. Potholes are born. Trouble is: drivers can't expect relief anytime soon.
“Boom! There's a pothole!” Daniel Prieto said, describing what he encounters on city streets. “Things will get bumpy.” “What goes through your mind?” asked reporter Kevin Keen. “Dodge it!” he replied. “Turn away. Even if it's illegal. You gotta do it. Safety first.”
If you think you've been swerving to miss potholes more on city streets lately, you're right.
“These winter rains wreak havoc on our pavements,” said Tucson DOT Director Jim Glock.
On top of that, our unusually wet December has helped the potholes multiply. “It could take even a number of months given the backlog that we have right now,” Glock said, talking about making repairs. “As of last Thursday, we had 350 service requests in.”
There's another problem: the city's asphalt suppliers aren’t supplying at the moment. Most pothole fillings have been put on hold.
“What would it take for the asphalt plant to get back in business?” Keen asked Glock. “Generally, better weather and other paving jobs going on,” Glock said. “If we can find other jurisdictions and/or road construction work needing asphalt, that'll help make the [demand] for our asphalt to go up.”
The supplier and city crews don't plan on ramping up maintenance till after the holidays. Drivers have no choice but to wait.
“What do you say to those drivers?” Keen asked. “I say contact your state legislature because we did see the state legislature balance the state budget by reducing the amount of money that the state collects and then provides to cities and towns for roadway maintenance,” Glock said.
If you know of a pothole you'd like to put on the city’s radar, the number to call is 791-3154. In Pima County, the number is 740-2639.