It is no secret that potholes are wrecking havoc on Omaha metro streets, but street crews are hard at work trying to keep up on the mounting number of pot holes.
Street Maintenance Engineer Austin Rowser tells NewsRadio 1110 KFAB that more than 1,000 work orders have been completed this month. "We've had crews working twelve hour shifts, six days a week, so we've really asked a lot of our guys. They've put in a lot of effort and a lot of time and have done a good job for us." Those work orders could be for five potholes or 50, so the actual number of potholes filled is much higher. Nearly 4,000 pothole repair requests have been filed this month through the Mayor's hotline.
Rowser says aging streets are not making the pothole situation around the metro any better. He says most street pavement only has a life span of about 40 years. "We're dealing with a lot of pavements that are close to the end of their life span and just things that are falling apart on us out there. We're keeping up with it as best we can."
The freeze thaw cycle is also a big contributor to the pothole headache. Rowser says when moisture gets into cracks, then freezes and thaws, that causes even bigger cracks which lead to potholes. "We didn't have a lot of snow, not a lot of moisture, but we had it in a lot of events. So, we had pretty continuous saturation of pavements through the winter, a lot of really cold temperatures in the middle of the winter, then a lot of freeze/thaw cycles towards the end of winter. So, it's been really tough on pavements."
Rowser says 25 crews will continue working to try and stay on top of the mounting pothole problem.