Help us repair the road - Report potholes!
Given the recent winter storm event and the freeze/thaw cycle there are many new potholes that are showing up on the City’s streets. While the City’s Street Maintenance crew routinely monitors roads and repairs potholes as they are discovered, the City is also asking for the public's help in reporting potholes. Residents who see potholes are encouraged to report them, so they can be repaired as soon as possible.
Ways to report
To report a pothole, please provide us with as much information as possible via:
- Smartphone App: SeeClickFix on Apple or Android;
- Online: Fill out an online service request; or
- Phone: Call the Customer Response Team at (206) 801-2700.
Fun Facts About Potholes
While potholes are more prevalent in the winter months, they can occur year-round. As its name suggests, a pothole is a bowl-shaped hole in a road that usually forms because of water seeping into pavement cracks and freezing during winter months. Because water expands when it freezes, the cracks become wider and deeper. Over time, the larger cracks, combined with the weight of traffic, cause the road's pavement to break up.
However, not all defects in the road are potholes. For various reasons, the top layer of pavement can break and form a shallow divot, known as a delamination. Delaminations are typically less than two-inches deep and have either concrete or asphalt at their base and are a nuisance but not usually a hazard; whereas, potholes are typically deeper and have sub-grade (gravel) present at the bottom of the hole and are more of a hazard.
Repairing pavement delaminations and potholes is important because they not only can lead to more expensive road repairs but can cause wear and tear on your vehicle, make for bumpy rides and potentially pose safety risks. There are two primary types of asphalt repairs that the City uses—cold patch asphalt repair and hot mix asphalt repair—and each has its own benefits
Cold patch asphalt repair is a temporary repair. Cold patch asphalt repair is used to prevent additional expansion of the delamination or pothole. These types of repairs require very little road surface preparation and can be accomplished quickly with minimal crew and equipment. It is primarily used during the colder winter months for emergency pothole repair until weather conditions allow for a permanent repair.
Hot mix asphalt repairs require dry weather and a temperature of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure a good bond between the old and new road surface material. These types of repairs require more preparation of either or both the roadway surface and subgrade and typically involve more people, equipment and traffic control to make the repairs safely. Hot mix asphalt repairs while temperature sensitive and taking longer to complete are permanent.