Mayor Turner urges community to report potholes in Houston area

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a plan Monday to repair potholes and replace street panels.

He said their goal is to have reported potholes replaced by the next business day or sooner. 

Turner claimed in the 3 p.m. news conference that Houston Public Works has increased its next business day response time from the day he was elected in 2016 from 98 percent to 100 percent in 2018.

VIDEO: Mayor Turner announces plan to fix potholes in Houston

"I'm not saying there are no potholes left, to filling the city of Houston, because there are potholes that still need to be filled and we're asking and encouraging people like I did three years ago, please call in or take a picture,” Turner said.

The city said the number of people reporting potholes to 311 has declined over the years.   

Potholes Reported to 311: 

  • 2015: 6,833
  • 2016: 9,977
  • 2017: 4,961
  • 2018: 5,509

Turner said over the past three years, there have been thousands of reported or self-identified potholes that were filled.

By the numbers:

  • In 2016, 63,404 potholes were filled.
  • In 2017, 65,157 potholes were filled.
  • In 2018, 37, 179 potholes were filled.

Turner said there was a decrease in potholes being fixed in 2018 due to two factors: fewer reports after Hurricane Harvey and patches staying longer over the holes, so fewer there are fewer holes to fill.

Houston Public Works Director Carol Haddock said it was a great challenge to take on in a big city, but that she is proud they were able to get the job done. She said even after major disasters like Harvey, crews were still able to fill potholes more than 100,000 potholes and 35,000 skin patches over the past three years.

The definition of a pothole was redefined in 2016 according to the city as, “any area of missing or severely deteriorated pavement up to 5 feet by 5 feet,” compared to 2015 when it was defined by 2 feet by 2 feet. 

Anything larger is considered skin patches. 

Houston Public Works said crews can fill 300 potholes a day, sometimes as fast as 15 seconds. Usually, there are about four workers per crew according to the city. 

As for the number of potholes in the city, the mayor said they’re not exactly sure, and can only count the ones that are reported. He said they have filled about 160,000 potholes since 2016. 

Turner said the reason for the conference is to urge the community to keep reporting these potholes so they call get filled by calling 311 or download the mobile app.

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