News 5 Investigates

Apr 2, 2014 6:43 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Guardians: How quickly is the City of Colorado Springs patching potholes?

Corey Farkas, the City's streets division manager told News 5 they try and have reported potholes patched within two weeks.

However, News 5 learned that 14-day timeframe is just a goal, not a policy. Essentially, potholes could go neglected for much longer.

David Yanez is still pinching pennies to fix his car after running over a pothole on Barnes Road near Oro Blanco in February.

"I'm out about $2,100," he said.

Since running over that pothole in February, that particular hole has been patched. Still, there are thousands more out there potentially putting drivers at risk.

The City admits it is lagging when it comes to making repairs.

"We're typically out five days a week," Farkas said. "In recent weeks we've been out six days a week and there's a lot of catch up work to do."

In 2013, the City says they repaired potholes within 7 days. Now, that repair time frame has doubled.

"We had a snow event this year where we were in 24-hour snow operations for 11-14 hours," Farkas said. "We weren't filling potholes during those days so the list continues to grow and get out in front of us.

Going through repair log sheets dating back to January 1, we found a vast majority of potholes were being patched within 1 to 2 weeks. However, there were still several more that were neglected for much longer.

Here's the data we received from the City of Colorado Springs under the Colorado Open Records Act:

Pothole Repairs.pdf

"We've got an aging infrastructure out there," Farkas said. "We've had an extremely cold winter and what that does it put us behind the power curve."

The City admits they are turning to a band-aid solution to get more potholes fixed in a short amount of time.

"We're doing what we call a ‘throw and go,' Farkas said. "They (crews) are going to put mix in the hole, compact it, and move on."

According to Farkas, the problem with this fix is that the filling will buckle in the near future. This news provides little comfort for drivers who say they're forced to treat city streets like an obstacle course.

"Being as there was traffic right next to us, we couldn't do any evasive maneuvers," Yanez said.

The more permanent fix is doing a "digout" where crews get out a jackhammer and square out the pothole before filling it.

This method will keep potholes patched for a few years as opposed to a few months.

The streets division tells News 5 they will go back and properly repair potholes when the temperatures get warmer and they catch up on the patching list.

If you have a story idea you'd like the News 5 Guardians investigative team to look into, email TheGuardians@koaa.com

 

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