The hotline in Mayor Jean Stothert's office has been humming in the past week with complaints about potholes. "This past week there were more than one thousand requests for pothole repair. We are still at an average of about four and a half days to get the potholes filled once we get a work order."
Stothert says not surprisingly one of the worst winters the city has had in years has led to a huge pothole problem, but help will soon be on the way.
Starting next Monday asphalt plants that normally don't open until the first of April will be ready to provide hot patch material. That will be a more permanent solution to the current cold patching that is done. With snow plowing operations completed, the city will have more crews available to fill the holes.
"We should be able to get out around 22 city crews plus the nine addition crews," says Street Maintenance Engineer Austin Rowser. The nine contractors were recently approved by the Omaha City Council.
Rowser says with heavy rain in the forecast they won't be able to make significant progress making any pothole repairs the rest of this week. In the meantime, Mayor Stothert says she understands the frustration drivers are feeling.
"We just ask people to be patient, drive slowly, drive carefully. It will take them awhile to get the done, but we will get them done.
Stothert says due to extreme damage, they closed 144th from Q to Millard Avenue on Monday. Swain Construction, which was already scheduled to make repairs, will completely rebuild the street beginning March 20, weather permitting.