San Antonio’s Pothole Patrol on a ‘blitz’ to smooth out city’s bumpy roads

Team filled more than 11,000 potholes so far in April

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio drivers will notice a smoother ride across the city if the public works department’s Pothole Patrol has its way.

The team, consisting of 12 different crews, has been on a mission to fill in as many potholes as possible in April.

Now in its eighth year, the effort is known as the Pothole Patrol Blitz.

“We want to really push and see if we can break last year’s record,” John Tapia, operations manager with the City of San Antonio’s Department of Public Works, said. “We’re hopeful that we can do that.”

Tapia said the crews currently are filling in about 700 potholes per day.

As of this week, he said, the crews have exceeded their goal of filling 10,000 potholes this month.

However, during last year’s blitz they conquered more than 14,000 of the mini craters, Tapia said.

Each two-person crew travels in a truck equipped with everything they need to make repairs. (KSAT 12 News)

The two-person crews travel in a truck equipped with everything they need, from a simple push broom to a small tank filled with road paving materials.

They go where they are needed, usually based on the findings of a city employee whose job it is to drive around looking for this kind of road trouble.

However, Tapia said the goal is to get more community participation.

On a recent morning, one crew worked to fill in a relatively small pothole near the corner of Blockade and Oglethorpe streets.

Gloria Gutierrez, who lives nearby, said she does her best to avoid it.

“I just drive around it, just make sure I don’t fall into it,” she said. “Otherwise, my car can’t handle it too well.”

As she watched the crew work, she smiled in delight, saying this is one of several positive changes in her neighborhood recently. “It’s great, and I think it’s a real credit to our city that they’re able to come out and do this,” Gutierrez said.

Tapia said that although the size of that particular pothole didn’t seem as significant as others, it could cause big problems down the road.

He said there is no pothole too small to repair.

“It could be six inches by six inches; if we don’t repair them now, they’re only going to get bigger,” Tapia said.

Anyone who notices a pothole is encouraged to contact the city, either by calling 311 or using the SA 311 app, he said.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

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