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Tulsa Road Crews Finding Fewer Potholes Than Expected After Winter Storm

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As soon as the city slowed down on snow plowing, they ramped up on pothole repairs. As soon as the city slowed down on snow plowing, they ramped up on pothole repairs.
"We just drive up and down looking for them. We see one, we fill it; go on to the next one," Nathaniel Stewart said. "We just drive up and down looking for them. We see one, we fill it; go on to the next one," Nathaniel Stewart said.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Wednesday's weather helped melt more of the snow and ice on roads, giving street repair crews a chance to get back to what they usually do: pothole repairs.

It's normally pretty predictable that after a snow and ice storm you'll see lots of potholes. Freezing water is the biggest problem, but the snow plows sometimes dig them up, too, which is why after a snowfall, the city goes out looking for them.

As soon as the city slowed down on snow plowing, they ramped up on pothole repairs.

Nathaniel Stewart and his crew went out Monday morning.

"We just drive up and down looking for them. We see one, we fill it; go on to the next one," Stewart said.

It's a quick process in part because, in weather like this, they have to make a patch they know won't last long. They keep track of where they've done the quick repairs so they can come back in warmer weather to fix it for good. But as they've been driving the streets this week, they've noticed something Stewart hasn't seen in 26 winters of work for the streets department: they're not finding many potholes.

"We're not finding as many, as we usually do after ice and snow, which is good," Stewart said. "I have no idea [why], but I know we're not finding as many."

They've only had a handful of potholes reported since the snowstorm--about the same number they usually have.

Street Maintenance Manager Tim McCorkell credits three years' worth of increased maintenance and new construction for eliminating the worst spots.

"There's a great benefit. It's really helped us. We don't have to have crews out making so many temporary patches, we can concentrate on permanent repairs," McCorkell said.

With the salting and sanding stopped and road repairs going as usual, other city services, like trash, are getting back to normal, too.

There were several days of reduced service when trucks couldn't get around, as well, but they're back on schedule now. The city is actually asking for people to report potholes, especially those right in the lane, where it could damage someone's car.

The number to call is 918-596-2100. You can also report them online.

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