Pothole patrol: Lincoln Transportation and Utilities does 50,000 patches a year

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Massive craters to your left and deep divots on your right. Pothole season is here.

Each crew for the Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department is estimated to repair 100 to 150 potholes per day.

That’s an average of 50,000 potholes per year, and the city is repairing them all year long.

During months of increased freeze-thaw weather cycles, like February through April, the city commits additional resources to pothole patches so it can keep up.

“During the pothole season, we will supplement the spray patchers with additional coal mix crews,” said Tim Byrne, maintenance operations manager for LTU. “You’ll see boots on the ground, shoveling mix into a hole, packing it in and moving on to the next one.”

During colder peak pothole months, the city uses UPLNK service requests to identify the street routes that need immediate attention.

Lincoln usually budgets about $1 million per year to repair these potholes.

But in recent years, LTU said the number has been dropping.

“So far this season since the first of the year, we have seen less pothole requests come in than typical,” Byrne said.

He said the city has had a little more than 300 requests so far, compared to 1,000 at this time in the last couple years.

“So they are down, and a lot of that is due to the drought,” Byrne said.

Two more reasons the reports are down are the Lincoln on the Move infrastructure project and additional crack sealing that has been done over the years.

But even on a day like Wednesday, and with more moisture expected through the end of the week, the patchwork they do will hold up.

If streets turn out to be “hot spots” and need repeated work done, then it requires a more permanent solution: a new road.

You can also report potholes by going to UPLNK.lincoln.ne.gov.

LTU said this is a big help when it cannot get its eyes and ears in all spots around town.

Arterial streets take priority, but the request usually gets done within about three days’ time.

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