Residents are being asked to help identify potholes in Marysville. City officials say they once they learn of a pothole, they work to fill it as quickly as possible. Above, Bryan Gilliland, of the city street department, fills a pothole along the curb at the intersection of Walnut and Fifth streets. (Journal-Tribune photo by Mac Cordell)
The City of Marysville is working to make city streets more enjoyable.
“It is a matter of knowing where the potholes are,” said Mike Andrako, public service director for the City of Marysville.
Marysville officials are asking residents who see, or feel, potholes to report them so they can fix the problems. Residents are asked to contact the city Public Service Department at email@example.com.
Andrako said that when residents send an email to the public service address, they get a confirmation response, “so that people know the request they submitted is received and is being addressed.”
He said a work order is created and the matter will be addressed quickly.
Additionally, the city regularly schedules a street maintenance crew to drive residential areas in search of potholes. He said the pothole patrol does work around other city duties.
“When they find them, they are repaired immediately,” Andrako said.
He did say potholes on busier streets or U.S. 33 require maintenance of traffic and, at times, lane closures to repair. He said they, “typically require a larger crew and are scheduled during off peak hours when traffic is lighter.”
Residents can also call the Public Service Department at (937) 645-7350 to report potholes in their area, but Andrako said the email address is the best option.
“They can call us, but the email is easier because we can create a paper trail and they can know their issue is being addressed,” Andrako said.
Additionally, he said multiple people get the email, insuring it gets attention.
Andrako said patching potholes does not really fix the street, but it does make the ride smoother. He said that by the time potholes begin appearing on a street, it is likely already on the radar for repair.
“They will pop up and we will patch them,” Andrako said. “The more potholes they have, the more likely it will be addressed in the next year’s street paving program.”
He said the city has invested heavily in crack sealing in an effort to prevent potholes and preserve the streets. Andrako explained that when a road cracks, water gets in the crack. That water freezes and thaws, expanding and contracting as it does.
“That freezing and thawing is really what causes the potholes,” Andrako said. “When a street starts to crack, we typically try to get in there in the next year or so to seal it. Because we are crack sealing a lot of these streets, it has extended the life and improved the condition of our streets.”
He said the crack sealing usually begins five to 15 years after a street is paved. The city has tried to have streets last about 25 years before they need replaced.
“By investing in crack sealing, we can get there,” the public service director said.
Andrako said the city has more than 100 miles of streets and the public service department has tried to pave about 4% of them each year. He said the cost is about $1.5 million annually. He said that if the city can create roads that last 25 years and can repave 4% of the streets each year, all city streets will be repaved as they approach the end of their life span.
“As long as we can appropriate that $1.5 million and shoot for 4% each year, our street ratings should stay the same or even go up a little,” Andrako said.
He added that by evaluating streets each year, “we try to stay ahead of the curve so we are not trying to play catchup.”
City officials said the pothole program and the public service email service does more than just address street issues.
“It lets people know their voice is heard,” Andrako said.
He said that in addition to reporting potholes, residents can use the email address to report poles in disrepair, street lights that don’t work, traffic signals that aren’t operating and a variety of other concerns.
“That really is a one-stop shop to get information to the city,” Andrako said. “We have had it for a while, but we really want to push it more and more as a way to provide better customer service to the residents.”
He added, “being as accessible as possible is invaluable.”
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