The Faces of 90.5 WESA
Wed February 19, 2014
Second Pothole Blitz Underway in Pittsburgh
Thanks to the break in wintry weather this week, Pittsburgh Public Works crews will conduct another pothole blitz.
Thirty crews will be out each day filling some of the city’s worst craters.
“Negley Run will be closed on Monday,” said Mayor Bill Peduto. “It’s past the point of being able to be patched. It’s going to be milled down to the concrete and will remain that way throughout the rest of the winter. We’re also looking at a couple of other areas that have been hit hard like Brookline Boulevard and Second Avenue.”
Last month, city crews conducted a 72-hour pothole blitz, then the city got another blast of wintry weather. Just as with the last blitz, anyone who sees a problem area is asked to call 311 or tweet a problem to @pgh311.
“The goal is to do what we did last time, which is to get through every complaint that comes in over a period of four or five days,” Peduto said. “It may snow again; we don’t know.”
The next chance of snow in the forecast comes Sunday. Crews can’t do patch work in the snow but will work in light rain. This winter’s freeze and thaw cycles have been hard on area roads and Public Works Director Mike Gable said this winter has stretched the department’s already thin budget even thinner.
“It’s been part of the past several years of not putting enough money into the paving program,” said Gable. “When you’re only paving 30 or 40 miles of roads when you should be doing 80 to 100, it’s going to catch up, it is catching up with us, so we need to make that investment.”
The pothole fixes are not permanent, and Gable said there’s no way to tell how long one will last. Peduto said he’d like to see more permanent paving done in the warmer months, but currently there isn’t room in the budget. So, the mayor said city government has to work smarter.
“I want to work with City Council and others to create a professional pavement management system,” Peduto said. “It’s something that’s done in other cities and needs to be done here.”
For now, 10 crews will work overnight and 20 during the day to patch potholes. Because many of the problem areas are on busy roadways, Peduto asks motorists to be on the lookout for crews and to be cautious when driving around them.