The ice may be gone, but it left behind the curse of drivers everywhere — more potholes.
"Water’s the enemy,” said Tim Ishmael, unit operations supervisor for Oklahoma City’s Street Maintenance division. "The freeze-thaw cycle causes most of these potholes out there now.”
Ishmael estimates about 8,000 potholes a month are patched along the 13,000 lane miles in Oklahoma City.
It’s not just nature. Other factors, such as water line ruptures, heavy traffic and sometimes shoddy contractor repairs can contribute to pothole formation. The city’s performance goal is to handle 80 percent of pothole repair requests within three working days.
"We just line up those work orders on the clipboards,” Ishmael said. "It’s a logistical ordeal. Some roads are so bad we’ll have to send more trucks and people to make the three-day goal.”
Just a portion of the repair requests come from the city’s Action Center or pothole hot line. Most come from other agencies or departments.
The periods following ice or heavy rains tend to bring out the most potholes, but the city’s 13 pothole patch trucks stay busy year-round, Ishmael said.
On the streets
Last week, supervisor Bill Webb, crew chief Michael "Speedy” Windham and James Stewart picked up work orders and started their day with a trip to the city’s River Yard at 900 S Santa Fe to pick up some cold-lay asphalt.
The typical pothole takes less than 15 minutes to fix. Webb parks his pickup about 20 yards behind the asphalt truck, setting up a makeshift work zone with cones.