Rain, ailing infrastructure behind uptick in potholes

Rain, ailing infrastructure behind uptick in potholes
Published: Sep. 24, 2015 at 8:05 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 24, 2015 at 9:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One after another, potholes were patched up on Thursday.  Up to 200 per crew, each day.

"Last week as an example our crews filled 1,411 potholes island wide," said Department of Facilities Maintenance director Ross Sasamura.

Generally potholes form when water gets under the surface of the road.   City officials say the unusually wet summer took a toll on Oahu's ailing infrastructure.

So far this year crews have made more than 34,000 pothole repairs.  That's up considerably from last year.  In many cases officials say it's only a temporary fix.

"Those roads that still need attention will continue to have issues with potholes.  Many areas that are prone to potholes will be areas that continue to reemerge and the potholes potentially could get bigger and deeper," said Ross Sasamura.

The city uses about $2 million worth of asphalt every year for repairs.  There are alternatives.

"The difficulty we have with those products, that patch material may be more resilient and may be able to withstand water a lot better but the area around the pothole patch is still asphalt so we still have the same problems," said Sasamura.

Recently the city started taking an extra step to ensure roads that have been resurfaced remain pothole free by applying an extra layer of asphalt several years later.

"What that does it restores that waterproofing property that asphalt has that may have degraded because of asphalt exposure," said Sasamura.

The city wants more people to report potholes in their neighborhoods.  All you have to do is make a phone call.  The number to Oahu's pothole hotline is 768-7777.

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