As piles of snow melt from city streets potholes are expectedly resurfacing in just about every roadway leading to complaints from residents. City’s public works director Manual Ojeda said his department has been receiving a good number of calls from residents complaining about potholes.
Ojeda said six public works supervisors have fanned out across the city to compile a list of potholes to address. “We have the patch truck out there and we have received a lot of calls as far as potholes are concerned,” said Ojeda.
The city has one patch truck which holds 18-ton of fill to address all the potholes in the city. “They’re looking to purchase another truck,” said Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, during Tuesday’s city council deliberation when the issue was brought to the fore.
“We’re going to need another patch truck,” added Ojeda. With two trucks the city will be able to handle twice as many potholes during the same period of time.
Ojeda said a lot of the potholes will also be addressed when mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ road reconstruction program, which will tackle 170 primary roads, kicks in. Indeed, the mayor ran on a platform to address the city’s roads after hearing complaints from residents about the poor handling of pockmarked streets by former mayor Jeffery Jones’ administration.
In fact, a number of potholes on city streets are left over from the poor plugging from the previous administration.
Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, 2nd Ward councilman, who was fixing his vehicle tires on Friday afternoon after it ran over a pothole, said his ward is littered with potholes. He raised the topic during Tuesday’s meeting.
Business administrator Nellie Pou told council members the administration has a plan to address the city’s perpetual pothole problem. “It is without a doubt the administration has a plan to ensure all of those areas are properly taken care of,” said Pou.
“Some of the potholes are so big people literally cannot drive cars,” said Akhtaruzzaman mentioning a number of streets with large potholes. He cited Albion Avenue (pictured), Quinn Street, and a large number of side-streets along the Stoney Road section.
Pou said the snowfall every weekend made it difficult to address a lot of the potholes. “As soon as the snow is gone we have to tackle it right away,” said Akhtaruzzaman.
Ojeda said that’s exactly what the city intends to do. “They are out there every single day working hard and trying to catch up on all these calls that are coming in,” said Ojeda.
“We’re taking care of all the complaints that are coming in and there’s not one that’s more important than another,” he said. “We’re trying to do all the potholes as quickly as we can.”
City residents can report potholes by calling: (973) 321-1488.