Drivers often complain about potholes — but maybe not enough.
Fort Worth city officials for several years have encouraged residents to report potholes, traffic signal malfunctions and other problems on area streets to a city hotline.
During the past year, the hotline — 817-392-1234 — has received 2,694 calls about potholes and other street repair problems, city spokesman Jeff Allen said. The phone number is the city’s call center, where customer service representatives are trained to take callers’ information specifically on potholes, as well as many other city-related questions and complaints.
That works out to an average of just over seven calls per day, which doesn’t seem like much considering how many pesky pavement pockmarks are out there.
Potholes are made all the more deep and treacherous by heavy rains, which may explain why motorists are seeing more of them in recent weeks.
How does rain exacerbate the pothole problem?
It’s common for streets to develop small cracks in the pavement, and when it rains water seeps below the concrete or asphalt and washes away the soil beneath the road. Then, the next time a vehicle passes over the road, the pavement collapses under its weight, causing a hole to form.
Many potholes are big enough to cause a tire blowout, or at least throw a car’s wheels out of alignment. On Monday, a stretch of Cantrell Sansom Road in north Fort Worth — a shortcut frequented by motorists trying to get from Western Center Boulevard to Loop 820 without getting on I-35W — a pothole measured more than a foot deep and about 8 feet long.
“You can help the city keep its streetlights, storm drains and other structures in good repair,” a page dedicated to potholes on the city’s website reads.
That page urges residents to report potholes to 817-392-8100, a number that Allen says also works. That number rings the city’s Transportation and Public Works Department, which is responsible for upkeep of city roads. (Allen says the city is in the process of eventually consolidating all pothole calls to the 817-392-1234 number.)
“When you make a report,” the city website reads, “be ready to describe the issue and give the location or address.”