Wichita Road Crews Flooded With Pothole Reports

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Even though winter is far from over, repair crews are already flooded with reports of thousands of potholes in city streets.

This time of year, city streets have potholes like the moon has craters. Near 23rd Street and Grove, we found a street crew filling in two of them. And if you didn’t know, the city has full-time crews year round—dedicated to nothing but filling in potholes.

Many of us are familiar with that nasty little thing called a pothole. Wichita Public Works Director Alan King says the rule is, if a car is damaged by a pothole after the city gets a report of it, the city will pay for the repairs. But if it hasn’t been reported yet, you get the cost.

“That drives our approach that once a pothole has been reported, that's why we want to get out there within a reasonable amount of time,” King said. “For us, reasonable is 24 hours.”

But that’s for cars. What about bike riders? For that, we found none other than Mike Potts.

“I think the cracks in the road are the worst part,” he said. “Potholes usually you can anticipate. We see a lot of them. Some areas of Wichita are a lot better than others.

“I've hit a few of them,” said bike rider Dick Siemer. “Thought I was gonna lose my front wheel on one of them. I didn't even realize it was there.

Back on the street, Thursday has actually been slow. But if it rains and the temperature dips below freezing, there could be just two out of as many as 30 city workers out at any given time.

The city does have a pothole hotline. That number is (316) 268-4013. You can also venture over to the city’s website, wichita.gov, to report a pothole.

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