Mayor Greg Fischer today helped launch the 2018 Pothole Blitz being conducted by Louisville Metro’s Department of Public Works. Department crews work across the city in a grid pattern in a concentrated effort each year to patch potholes created by the repeated freeze-thaw cycles of winter.
The end of winter blitz is in addition to year round patching of potholes reported by citizens. Mayor Fischer helped demonstrate a new piece of equipment that is helping crews do a better job of patching larger road depressions while using minimal amounts of new asphalt.
An asphalt recycling machine uses infrared light to heat the damaged asphalt of the pothole. Heating softens the old asphalt so it can be reworked, blended with new asphalt and smoothed out. The result is a smoother patch than traditional pothole repair methods.
“Pothole repair is government service to citizens literally where the rubber meets the road,” Fischer said. “The new infrared equipment shows that we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the daily commute in our city.”
Fischer urged citizens to continue reporting potholes to MetroCall in one of three easy ways. Those using the social network Twitter can use the hashtag 502pothole. Include the hashtag along with the address or nearest intersection of the pothole location in any tweet and MetroCall will get the message.
There’s also a pothole reporting form at the top of the city website, Louisvilleky.gov. Click on the “Report a pothole” link, put in the location information and press send. Of course, citizens may also call MetroCall at 311 or 574-5000. The 502pothole hashtag and the online form offer the advantage of avoiding the potential for having to wait on hold on the telephone.
The number of potholes in 2018 is expected to decline for a third consecutive year thanks to a combination of increased investment in paving, equipment, and mild winters. Potholes peaked at 171,000 in 2015 following years of deferred road maintenance and a rough winter. They decreased to 46,510 in calendar 2017.
The Mayor and Metro Council boosted spending on paving from just $2.8 million in 2014 up to approximately $21 million in each of the last two fiscal years. As a result, the number of miles paved increased from 26 in 2014 to about 130 miles yearly in 2016 and 2017. Newly repaved roads are less susceptible to the formation of potholes.
Public Works patches potholes on Metro Government maintained roads. Potholes on interstate highways should be reported to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at 1-800-Patchit.