Pothole Complaints

Monday, April 2nd 2007, 4:00 pm
By: News On 6

Motorists driving Tulsa's highways and side streets are getting sick of the bumpy ride. Pothole complaints are pouring in at city and state offices. Drivers also want to know when slippery sand, which is left over from January’s storms, will be cleared. The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports these highway hazards may have contributed to another wreck Monday morning.

Tulsa Police are investigating an accident on the IDL after a woman rear-ended a dump truck. The woman says she hit a pothole causing her to lose control of the vehicle, and the driver of the dump truck says it appeared she skidded on the sand, which still covers part of the on ramp. In this case, luckily, no one was injured.

"We have pothole crews at work every day," said Tim McCorkell with the City of Tulsa Street Maintenance.

City crews, who are responsible for streets but not highways, say they're pretty well caught up on major potholes and now they’re doing small fill-ins. The fill-ins are done with what’s called a cold patch mix; it doesn't re-pave the road it just fills the hole with a tar like substance.

"This is more of a temporary patch so we don't have any hazardous conditions until we can do a more permanent type of repair," McCorkell said.

McCorkell says he feels like the problem is under control, but with 5,000 lane miles in the city it's hard to hit every spot.

"The biggest problem is we can't find all of ‘em, so we rely on people to help," said McCorkell.

The leftover sand is a different matter.

"The ice storm just lasted so long it kinda put us in a bind, so after you get more down, when it melts you've got more left on the ground," said McCorkell

City street crews dumped 12,000 tons of sand, much more than usual during the severe ice storms. Officials say it normally takes three months every spring to sweep up, and they haven't even hit that deadline.

The biggest complaint for local drivers seems to be on the highways. ODOT officials tell The News On 6 that they are working on it, and in fact have a crew returning to the IDL on Tuesday. They say repairing surface damage is the top priority, so picking up sand is secondary.

For complaints on city streets you can call the Mayor's Action Hotline at 918-596-2100, or you can report a pothole by clicking here. For pothole problems on the state's highways, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation can be reached at 918-838-9933.

Related stories:

1/20/2007 Thawing And Refreezing Creates Hundreds Of Potholes On Oklahoma Roads

1/22/2007 Oklahoma Drivers Dodging Potholes After Winter Thaw

1/22/2007 Mother And Daughter Cling To Life Following Downtown Tulsa Highway Accident

1/28/2007 Tulsa Street Crews Get High Marks After Ice Storm

4/2/2007 Sand On Highway May Have Caused Accident