PHOTO #1: Bryant Stamps repairs a pothole using one of the City of Victoria’s patch trucks.
PHOTO #2: James Toth repairs a pothole using one of the City of Victoria’s patch trucks.
PHOTO #3: Crew leader Henry Ybarra drives one of the City of Victoria’s patch trucks.
If you’re out for a drive, chances are you’ll see one of the City’s patch trucks rolling down the street, looking for streets to patch up before they get out of hand.
The patch trucks are specially designed vehicles that carry loads of hot patch material ready to be poured into potholes. The City recently added a third patch truck to its fleet, which has allowed City crews to regularly patrol the streets for potholes.
“The additional patch truck can go out to a zone and get all the potholes at once rather than waiting on citizens to call them in,” said Public Works Director Ken Gill. “If we don’t have too many work orders, we’ll send two patch trucks out to patrol. Our goal by obtaining an extra patch truck is to become more proactive with the pothole repairs.”
Potholes can form because of erosion caused when moisture gets into a crack in a road, because of the strain of repeated use by heavy vehicles or when the asphalt detaches from the pavement structure.
While potholes can easily be repaired on-site by the two-person patch crews, Gill explained that other types of damage, such as street failure, are more difficult to fix.
“When the subbase fails, it’s harder to fix than a pothole,” Gill said. “People wonder why we can’t just patch them up, and it’s because the problem is below the surface.”
In addition to moving to a proactive repair strategy, Public Works in April began compiling more comprehensive data on pothole repairs. Previously, pothole repairs were counted by individual work orders regardless of how many potholes were patched during the completion of a single work order.
Under the new system, the City tracks not only how many potholes are repaired but where the repairs take place. During the period from April to July, Public Works repaired more than 7,000 potholes. As the City continues compiling this information, Public Works will be in a better position to evaluate problem areas and improve the condition of the city’s most troubled streets.
To report a pothole, call 361-485-3160 or visit www.victoriatx.gov and click Service Request under the Services tab. City crews aim to respond to all requests within 48 hours.
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