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Government/Politics

City Proposes Expanding Pothole Repair Program

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Potholes are a persistent problem all around San Antonio. City council is hoping to make a dent in repairs by city increasing the number of crews on the streets. The proposed city budget that begins in October could fund an expanded effort to patch the missing pieces of the roads.

 

For drivers in San Antonio, many, like Hector Garza can’t go a day without seeing a pothole.

 

“Sometimes I go to the Westside and there are basically potholes everywhere. I go to the Northside, Southside, but they’re everywhere,” Garza said outside of a gas station at Blanco and Hildebrant.

 

Hitting one can be pretty expensive, take 32-year-old driver Stuart Waymac for instance.“I just recently hit one really bad and it cost me $500 to get a new tire,” he said.

 

Last fiscal year the city patched 13,000 potholes. This year it’s already fixed 29,000. The increase is due to wetter weather and more crews on the streets to fix them, according to the city. 

 

The proposed city budget includes its largest amount for street maintenance ever coming in at $64 million. There is also $15 million for sidewalks and $12 million for drainage projects.  District 10 City Councilman Mike Gallagher said the big push for infrastructure repair comes from citizen input.

 

“This seems like a lot of money, however, if you look at how big San Antonio is we need a lot more than that to take care of the problem,” said Gallagher.

 

Previously, City Manager Sheryl Sculley has said it would take $1 billion to conduct the needed repairs on all streets.

 

The City’s Transportation and Capital Improvements Department is looking at $900,000 to expand its pothole repair program.  It already has 14 crews on the street, and this would allow the repair of about 36,000 potholes per year. Assistant Director Anthony Chukwudolue said it will fund six new positions and purchase two new trucks.

 

“This will improve crew deployment so that crews out there they will accomplish more in a given day,” he added.

 

The city council will vote on the full budget on September 10, however, the council will get to see details about the pothole program during a special meeting on Tuesday.