$1 million funding increase approved for pothole repairs

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April 1, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The City Council’s Transportation & Public Works Committee voted today to approve spending an additional $1 million this year to patch an especially bad crop of potholes.

Mike Kennedy, the city’s director of transportation maintenance and repair, said the harsh winter with “long-term deep freezes” has been brutal for the roads.

The additional funding will allow the city to have nine crews working on pothole repairs along with a couple of spray patching units. Crews typically start working on permanent pothole repairs when temperatures warm up enough to allow for the asphalt mix to adhere to the pavement.

The funding request, forwarded to the Council by Mayor Betsy Hodges, next goes to the Ways and Means Committee on April 7 and the full Council on April 11.

“I’m staying focused on the good news, which is that spring is increasingly upon us and our crews are working hard to keep Minneapolis pothole-free,” Hodges wrote in a recent letter to residents. “I’m happy to see that many potholes have been filled … but I know others are popping up. I appreciate your helping reporting these and hope to continue to see improvements.”

Council Member Blong Yang (Ward 5) asked Kennedy how the city determines priorities for pothole repairs, noting he’s heard many complaints about conditions on 26th Avenue in North Minneapolis — a road scheduled for resurfacing.

Kennedy said Public Works is “complaint responsive” but not “complaint driven” when it comes to determining where to patch potholes in the city.

People can report potholes online to the city. A disclaimer notes that the “time of year, weather and pavement conditions,” among other factors, will impact how quickly crews can respond to complaints.