Jim Hanson and Scott Berry are hard at work on a never-ending problem...
"We've only got so much man power."
Potholes seem to be pop up more and more after each passing winter. Now that the cold months are behind us, you're likely to see public works employees out in full force, fixing motorists least favorite obstacles.
A commonly held belief among citizens is that the public works department isn't doing their job to fill the gaps. We set out to smooth over the debate in a WMBD undercover investigation. We followed crews over a two-day period in April and spotted at least two separate crews working on busy streets like Main and Western. In fact, we've learned a lot about those pounding the streets.
We met up with Hanson and Berry off of Pioneer Parkway. Armed with a clipboard full of citizen complaints, the duo is seen here filling a pothole with a "cold-patch mixture." It’s a temporary solution public works departments across the state use until streets can dry off following spring showers. Potholes are permanently fixed come May during the busy construction season. A "hot-mix" is used in those situations... But right now, it's just too early in the season... That's traditionally done in the summer.
We wanted to compare Peoria to other communities in Illinois. How do we stack up? Let's look at Peoria in comparison to Springfield and Champaign:
Peoria public works oversees 460 center lane miles of road. Directors tell us this time of year, they can have more than three two-man crews on pothole patrol. Compare that to Springfield: Their public works department is responsible for two hundred more center lane miles than Peoria. But in the spring they report having just as many crews out working as Peoria does. Champaign, however, has 180 fewer miles... But just as many pothole crews as Peoria and Springfield. Champaign keeps track of every pothole workers fill: So far in 2009, their tally stands at 9,000. Peoria and Champaign have no method in place to keep count.
So, next time you're out on the road dodging ditches...You can remember crews are out there, making roads a little smoother... One pothole at a time.
Click here to report a pothole on a Peoria city street.