Potholes keep Lincoln crews busy

Potholes Located in the intersection of 60th and Vine Streets.

Potholes Located in the intersection of 60th and Vine Streets.

As everybody knows, it’s pothole season in Lincoln again. Citizens here are used to dodging and swerving, but the annual rough ride is still annoying to many. While it may seem to some like the potholes are never going to get fixed, citizens may have more power than they think.

Becky Smith from Lincoln Street Maintenance said crews do actively search for potholes, but the best way to get a pothole filled is by reporting it yourself.

Once reported, the pothole is added into a database that crews view before each shift. Larger holes on arterial streets are the main priority, while smaller holes on less traveled roads are filled second. Once a hole is reported, it takes an average of four days to get filled. However, inclement weather can make that time longer.

Crews consist of at least 10 people who work on the streets everyday, one on the north side of O St. and one on the south. On average they work eight hour days and 40 hour weeks, but weather can increase the number of hours and employees. After the snow from Winter Storm Kayla started to melt, all hands were on deck for as long as possible.

“Pothole season” starts at the first freeze, and lasts until temperatures stay above freezing at night. It gets bad in early spring when snow melts during the days and freezes again at night, the perfect conditions to put holes in the streets, and your tires.

Jeff Bellefeuille, the Service Advisor at The Auto Connection said there is definitely a rise in business during this time. The most common repairs are popped tires, dented rims, and most of all, alignment problems.

The Auto Connection along with other body shops in Lincoln do annual pothole specials so the holes in your tires won’t put holes in your wallet. Right now, they’ll fix your alignment for $59.95.

When asked about any tips for minimizing pothole damage or missing it all together, Bellefeuille only had one suggestion, “take the bus.”

There are three ways to report a pothole; you can call Lincoln Street Maintenance at (402) 441-7701. There is a pothole hotline that can be reached at (402) 441-7646, or you can get on the City of Lincoln Website and report a hole at http://lincoln.ne.gov/aspx/city/action/new.aspx?topic=2.

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