Brynn Grimley (253) 983-7761 • Fax (253) 589-3774 • bgrimley@cityoflakewood.us
Communications Manager

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Dec. 29, 2017

It's that time of year again where we see our MyLakewood311 reports of potholes skyrocket as the outside temperatures plummet.

The variation in temperatures causes our roads to shrink, expand, crack and poof! potholes appear.

Looking at the numbers for December, the city received 51 reports of potholes to our 311 app. In some cases the same pothole is reported more than once, but compared to the warmer summer months where few potholes were reported, it's safe to say we've entered pothole season.

The city places a high priority on its roads and preventing potholes from forming. It does this through its crack and chip sealing programs. That’s where compromised roads – or roads with cracked pavement – are identified and a patch or seal is placed over the impaired area to eliminate the possibility for water to seep in and cause disruption.

Since incorporation the city has always contracted its road repair work out. But this summer it tried something new.

A pilot project aimed at fixing trouble areas around the city notorious for potholes was initiated. Through the program the city rented equipment that allowed its operations and maintenance crew the ability to grind up sections of pavement, apply hot asphalt and finally a sealant to the roadway.

The idea was to see how efficient it would be to do this work in-house. Crews set out with an estimate of being able to patch 3,000 square feet of pavement during the month-long pilot.

Instead they patched nearly 9,500 square feet.            

The success of the program showed that if the city owned or leased the necessary equipment its crews could spread the pothole patching throughout the year, allowing for potholes to be patched as they arise.

As a result, a request for the program will be part of the 2019-2020 biennial budget planning.

Even with the equipment in-house, remember we can’t fix every road at once, and an onslaught of bad weather (think snow followed by heavy rainfall) speeds up road deterioration and prevents us from patching the roads immediately. Heavy rainfall and cooler temperatures also limit the type of patches applied.

So please be patient as we work to repair the roadways and don’t forget to use the free MyLakewood311 mobile app to report those potholes!

See our Lakewood Operations & Maintenance crew at work patching a section of Gravelly Lake Drive SW this summer.