Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 8, 2022

90-plus% of potholes in Chattanooga filled

The city’s Department of Public Works has inspected more than 95% of all streets and filled 90% of all potholes, Mayor Tim Kelly said recently in a report delivered to the City Council.

The city has added a third pothole repair crew and two more pothole inspectors to the upcoming budget and is adding three utility inspectors to ensure street cuts by local utilities are properly repaired.

The city is also requiring local utilities to implement full-lane road patches to begin eliminating the quilt of spot patches that can lead to bumpy, uneven surfaces.

While potholes will continue to occur through heavy traffic and the freeze and thaw cycle, the work of getting caught up and the addition of road crews will allow future potholes to be filled more quickly, Kelly says.

Potholes begin to form when rainwater seeps into small cracks heavy traffic creates. In the winter, freezing temperatures cause the water to turn into ice, which expands as it cools.

That expansion widens cracks and weakens the rock, gravel and sand below. Eventually, the cycle of freezing and thawing softens and erodes the underlying roadbed, allowing the surface to break apart and sink.

Along with filling potholes, Public Works has created work orders for issues that require more than a patch, such as utility trench settlement, base failure, lack of base and slope failure.

And officials are finalizing the paving plan for 2024 and 2025, which should be released in the coming weeks.

The enhanced emphasis on potholes and paving is part of Kelly’s One Chattanooga strategy. One of the seven priorities under the plan is improving the local infrastructure, including repairs to potholes and aging roads.

The city does not repair state roads, private streets, parking lots and alleys. Examples of roads the city does not maintain include the Eastgate Town Center loop, U.S. 27 and I-24.

Source: Chattanooga mayor’s office