Mayor Don Wesely said crews with the city Public Works and Utilities Department have filled nearly 450 potholes on city streets during the past two weeks.
"The city is waging an aggressive battle to find and fill potholes between snow storms," Wesely said. "We all do our best to avoid the potholes, and the city crews are doing their best to get them filled as quickly as possible. The city has 12 street crews working daily to fill potholes."
The above average snowfall along with rain and sleet combined with freezing and thawing temperatures have resulted in an extraordinary number of potholes. Weather data indicates Lincoln is experiencing the 10th coldest winter in 115 years.
"The recent snows have slowed us down a bit, but we’ve been able to switch crews between snow operations and pothole repair as needed," said Public Works Director Allan Abbott. "We have been able to get to reported potholes on arterial streets within three days and on residential streets within four days." Abbott said if weather permits, crews have even worked weekends.
Citizens are asked to call 441-7646 to report potholes. A street service request form is also available on the home page of the city’s web site at www.lincoln.ne.gov. The Public Works Department reported that on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, the pothole telephone hotline received a total of more than 130 calls. Another 10 pothole reports are received daily on the city web site.
The mixture used to permanently repair potholes works best when the temperature is 40 degrees or higher, so at lower temperatures, crews are making mostly temporary repairs. In February, Lincoln had only four days above 40 degrees. According to weather data, Lincoln would normally have nine days in February above 40 degrees.
"We are all hoping for warmer weather so we can make faster progress on making permanent repairs, which will reduce the number of times and additional cost of having to repeat the temporary repairs," Wesely said.
The Mayor and Public Works officials ask that motorists slow down for safety reasons and drive carefully around street crews repairing potholes.