Public Works Crews Scrambling to Repair Potholes

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Des Moines Public Works crews started their Tuesday morning with 467 pothole complaints.

Long-time public works employee Douglas Triplett said they know which ones are the worst by how many complaints they get for a certain area and how the potholes are described.

"Monster, huge, large. So right off the bat we know there's a big bad one there," Triplett said.

Melting snow and ice revealed lots of crumbling roads to all of the drivers out there.

"On my way home, on Fleur Drive, sometimes I don't know if a person is distracted and weaving because they're texting or if they're dodging the potholes. So you gotta really keep your eyes open," driver Steve Davidson said.

Driver Lloyd Kaufman said he’s noticed a lot of the same road conditions.

“I've noticed many of them near busy intersections. A lot of the main routes I take, I have to be cautious and looking out for them and sometimes waiver a little bit to try and avoid them," Kaufman said.

Now that city crews don't have to worry about winter weather, they can focus on the pothole emergency at hand.

"Right now they're top priority. As long as the weather holds like this and we got everybody out busting their butts to get all these patched so we can make the city safe," Triplett said.

Seven patch crews are working overtime, filling each pothole with a coal mix.

"So we go down to our supply yard and we load up with coal mix and let it heat up. And we go out to our job sites and they blow them out with a blower, blow the water and debris out, and then they shovel the asphalt out of the trucks and they spread it, level it, and tap it," Triplett said.

As workers try to keep up with overwhelming number of complaints, they're asking the public for patience.

"Be patient, be observant, and let us do our job," Triplett said.

Triplett added they will even be working through the rain this week to make sure crews can get to all the reported issues. To report a pothole, call 515-248-4950 any time.