DC Zaps More than 6,000 Potholes Across City
The District Department of Transportation announced that workers fixed 6,084 potholes during the month-long Potholepalooza that ended Saturday. Some of those fixes were relatively easy if they were small enough to be attacked by the Pothole Killer, a truck with a long snout that looks to me like a big metal mosquito. (See Commuter page.)
But the bigger fixes, like the one pictured above at Second and Orange streets SE, require an asphalt dump, followed by a lot of shoveling, raking and rolling before the hot mix has a chance to cool off. That's hard on the feet, as you can see in the photo above. This particular fix occurred at a bus stop, where the weight of the buses coming to a halt had combined with normal weathering to bust the pavement. The longterm fix is to install a concrete pad at the stop, but this couldn't wait.
DDOT said that during the palooza more than 500 people submitted requests for fixes by telephone, e-mail, text message and Internet. But Romanus Onyeama, superintendent for street and bridge maintenance, pointed out that the repair crews fix a lot more potholes than they get calls about. They also try to prevent potholes from getting started by sealing over cracks in pavement.
Onyeama was proud of the response to the service requests. He said the repair crews got to them within 48 hours.
The three Pothole Killers under contract to the city helped build up the score. While more than half a dozen people worked on the big fix at the bus stop, a solo driver around the corner used the truck to clean out and fill small potholes on Second Street SE. The filler, which can stay in place for several years, Onyeama said, can be driven over as soon as the truck moves on. The small stones used in the filler mix don't come off on car tires.
While the palooza campaign has ended, people can still request pothole fixes and other services from the District Department of Transportation. Three methods: Phone the Mayor's Call Center at 311, use the form for an Online Service Request or send a text message to twitter.com/DDOTDC .
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