The City of Memphis Public Works Division is aware the recent winter storm has increased the number of potholes on city streets. The primary reason for this increase comes from changes in the weather from the ice and snow. Potholes during winter months are commonly caused by recurring, and often rapid, freezing and thawing of the roadway surface.
Public Works Street Maintenance has implemented a strategy to address the increase in the number of potholes created by recent weather events. The strategy involves doubling the number of crews to respond to the current pothole situation and will also utilize the necessary overtime.
Public Works Director Robert Knecht, plans to shift these employees back to street/pothole repair duties as soon as possible and work the necessary overtime hours to address the need to combat the pothole problem as quick as possible. Crews plan to continue this strategy over the next 30 days to respond to the demand associated with an increased number of potholes without any unnecessary delays.
As a note, the City uses two methods to repair potholes depending on the weather from one day to the next. The most common repair method is the use of what is referred to “Hot Mix Asphalt” the other is the use of what is referred to as “Cold Mix Asphalt.” Hot mix asphalt is a better and more permanent method of making repairs which makes it more cost effective. Cold mix asphalt is only used when hot mix asphalt is not available, typically on days whereby the temperature does not allow to produce hot mix asphalt.
Fortunately for the City of Memphis, we own and operates an asphalt plant and can produce hot mix asphalt year around, weather permitting, and generally can make hot mix asphalt very cost effectively. The cost of this entire operation is included in the Street Maintenance operating budget and there is sufficient funding to ensure we can provide pothole repair service without a strain on the budget. Additional funding could be allocated to resurfacing of city streets as this would go a long way to improve overall condition of our city streets.
Public Works is also asking all City employees including Memphis police officers to report potholes as they observe them. Residents are also encouraged to notify the City of any potholes by contacting 311 or 636-6500. Public Works’ goal is to have any pothole addressed within 5-10 business days.