What is a pothole?
A pothole is a hole or depression in the roadway that may vary in size and shape. In the City, a pothole is considered an area of missing or deteriorated pavement that is up to approximately 25 square feet in size. Sometimes other pavement surface damage is believed to be a pothole, however, not all road defects are categorized as potholes.
How are potholes fixed?
Pothole repairs typically fall into one of these three categories depending on the location, cause of the pothole and the severity:
1. Pothole Repair: This is the most common method used. This process involves filling the missing area with replacement pavement material. For areas with light traffic, cold patches are typically used because of the quick application process. For high traffic areas or for large potholes, hot mix asphalt is used for higher durability and performance.
2. Base Repair: For base repair, road maintenance staff removes the distressed area of pavement where the broken asphalt is allowing for water to get through and is weakening the subgrade material. Once removed, hot mix asphalt is placed, and a roller is used to compact the asphalt.
3. Rehabilitation: In some cases, the pavement may have multiple potholes and failures. For instances like this, the pavement may require complete rehabilitation. For rehabilitation, the asphalt is completely removed, the subbase material is replaced, and a new layer of hot mix asphalt is applied. This process is very expensive and is completed by Capital Improvement Projects and not road maintenance staff.
How is pothole repair prioritized?
Potholes are prioritized based on various criteria, including the size and depth of the pothole, location, speed and amount of traffic on that road. In general, repairs are prioritized in the following order:
1. Arterial Streets
2. Collector Streets
3. Residential Streets
If a pothole is deemed dangerous, it will be treated as an emergency.