Tulsa To Transition From Snow Removal To Pothole Repairs

Tuesday, December 5th 2006, 10:17 am
By: News On 6

The city of Tulsa is switching gears from road clearing to road repair. The snow on some streets is melting away to reveal new potholes underneath.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says getting rid of the snow and ice is just part of the job and after 7,500 hours of overtime - a new job is waiting - and it starts first thing Wednesday.

The intersection of 4th and Phoenix hadn't seen a sand truck since the snow started falling. That didn't stop Bessy Salsburg from driving. She was careful - and she's made it just fine. "It's icy, slippery, but you just got to stop going up when you've got a clear spot, give it the gas, then let it idle all the way." While she's driving - many of her neighbors have just stayed in. But Tuesday, a city sand truck came by to help out.

Sand truck driver Sam Cotton was on hour 12 of the 16-hour shifts, which he's been working since Thursday. "Well they looking pretty good, we're doing the best we can, working these long hours." The Tulsa Street Department worked 100 people on those shifts - with every available truck. They're done with the major streets and are working neighborhoods now.

The workers are tired and the trucks are breaking down from all the constant work. And while that work is almost done, there's another job ahead.

The city is still clearing out some snow but most of it is out of the way. The next big job is repairing all the potholes that popped up because of the storm. Darren Stefanek with Tulsa street maintenance: "it's extremely tough on the streets and as it thaws, you'll see more potholes because of the freeze, thaw cycle."

The water gets underneath the pavement and pops it out when the temperature drops. Every time there's another cycle of freeze and thaw - the potholes grow - increasing the chances of damage to the cars that run through them.

The city wants people to report potholes to the mayor’s action center at 596-2100 or online at www.cityoftulsa.org and they especially want to know if it's the kind of pothole that might damage a car.