As warmer temperatures melt ice-coated roads, don’t be fooled into thinking conditions are back to normal.
Potholes may be lurking in the wake of this week’s winter storm.
Fort Worth typically fills about 100 potholes per day, but Juan Cadena, operations officer for the city’s Transportation and Public Works Department, expects that number to ramp up to 300 after ice coated the area.
Potholes occur more in winter weather because freezing water gets below roads and starts to expand, bend and crack the pavement material, Cadena said. Add in the weight of vehicles driving over the roads and potholes emerge, he added.
Fort Worth has about 8,100 miles of roads. The Transportation & Public Works Department does not have enough resources to keep an eye on new potholes, Cadena said. The department relies on residents to report any road issues they come across.
“Potholes will develop because of existing road conditions, especially with aged asphalt in older areas of town,” he said. “Not much can be done to prevent this, which is why we immediately start repairs.”
Potholes are usually fixed within 48 hours of being reported, according to a news release.
The city considers potholes as no larger than 3 feet in diameter. Anything bigger would be considered a “street repair” or “base failure,” according to the city.
Residents can report potholes by calling 817-392-1234 or downloading the MyFW app to report a pothole.
Step to report a pothole on MyFW app:
1. Select New Request
2. Select Pothole < 3 Feet Request
3. Take a photo
4. Answer the questions
5. Choose to share with the public or not. Only the requested information with photo will be shared.
6. Filled reporter information or leave it anonymous if desired
7. Submit your request
AAA recommends avoiding potholes. But if you can’t, slow down gradually and keep the vehicle wheel straight to minimize damage, AAA advises. The organization also suggests checking the vehicle’s tire pressure, suspension, and alignment if you go over a pothole.
One in 10 drivers sustained vehicle damage significant enough to warrant a repair after hitting a pothole in 2021, according to AAA. The average repair cost was $600.
Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.