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Public Works reports pothole repairs moving ahead steadily

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Cars drive past potholes on Dickinson Avenue on March 13, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

An unusually snowy winter and wet early spring have wreaked havoc on local roads, but city officials said potholes are being repaired.

Kevin Mulligan, director of Greenville’s Public Works Department, told City Council members last week that his employees have fixed more than 1,000 potholes since mid-January, and are working on locating and filling any remaining ones.

Mulligan said while it is not uncommon for the city to experience pothole issues during this time of year, residents may have noticed an above-average number of the tire hazards due to the winter weather event that struck the city in early January.

“This is the time of year you'll see potholes; we're going to be addressing them every February and March,” he said. “This year though, the type of freeze was extremely significant.”

Mulligan said the issue that most affected the roads was sequential nights of below-freezing temperatures. Water getting into cracks in the roadways and then freezing accounts for much of the damage to the roads, he said.

In early January, the city was forced to use salt and brine to melt the snow every day, only to have it freeze in the roads’ cracks each night, he said.

Mulligan said the department's goal right now is to fill any reported pothole within 48 hours. He encouraged residents to report any potholes they see around town.

The city compass application, which can be download on Apple and Android devices, is the most convenient method of reporting damaged roadways, he said, but residents can also do so on the city website, or by calling Public Works at 329-4522.

As of this week, Mulligan said  reports from the city compass application have resulted in repairs to 135 potholes since January.

At-Large Councilman Brian Meyerhoeffer said he has been using the application and applauded Mulligan and the department on their efforts.

“I want to give you guys a pat on the back — which I'm sure you don't get that all the time,” he said. “I used the city compass app a couple weekends ago and reported 22 potholes, and they were filled within a day or two.”

Mulligan noted that none of the potholes city workers had seen so far were on roads that have been resurfaced in the last 10 years. He said as the city continues with the road resurfacing program, fewer potholes are expected.

The data staff members are compiling about the location of potholes is helping the city prioritize which roads to resurface, he said.

Not all of the roads in Greenville are maintained by the city, Mulligan said. Many are governed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. For a map of streets within the Greenville city limits that details what agency is responsible for maintaining a specific street, go to www.greenvillenc.gov/home/showdocument?id=9931.

Mulligan said residents should report potholes to the NCDOT, and he has heard assurances that NCDOT also has a same goal of fixing potholes within 48 hours. To make a report, go to www.ncdot.gov/contact/report/pothole or call 1-877-368-4968.

Contact Seth Gulledge at Sgulledge@reflector.com and 329-9579. Follow him on Twitter @GulledgeSeth

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