NORFOLK, Va. - Mary Watson knows firsthand how troubling potholes can be.
For about a month or so, she said she's been having to dodge a giant hole at the end of her Norfolk street.
"[When I'm driving], I've had to cut [my wheel] out and then in, just to try not to hit [the pothole]," Watson said.
Her neighbors felt the same frustrations so they reported the problem and the city responded. News 3 was there as a crew pulled up to patch the hole.
"Every day we're doing potholes. This is part of the season," said Christopher Littlejohn with the Department of Public Works.
Littlejohn has been with the city for 32 years and said his crew is seeing more potholes than usual this Spring, likely because of this winter's storms.
When News 3's Erin Miller asked how many potholes are fixed in a day, Littlejohn said, "I'd say about 10 to 12 a day, depending on the size of the hole."
That peaked our interest so the Problem Solvers dug into the numbers. According to Norfolk's Open Data Portal, in the month of April the city received 31 work orders. As of Monday, 27 have been marked as "complete."
In total, these pothole repairs in April cost taxpayers more than $32,000. The total cost factors in the labor which averages about three crew members, equipment and material costs.
According to the city, other factors that affect the cost of the repair include locations that may require significant traffic control. For example, a pothole repair of the same size will differ in cost on a residential street vs. a main arterial.
"I think the biggest misconception is that the city just lets them linger," said Alana Smith, Management Analyst 3 for the City of Norfolk, Department of Public Works.
She said you can be proactive in getting a pothole fixed by reporting them to the city.
"This is a city with over 240,000 people. With the size of Norfolk, we can't catch them all," Smith said. "We really do rely on residents reporting to us because as you've seen, they can get out here and they can get it taken care of very quickly."
Smith said there is a bit of a backlog at the moment with repairs because there is a labor shortage, especially when it comes to individuals who have a CDL.
While our cameras were on scene, the crew was able to complete the pothole repair in about 20 minutes.
If you need to report a pothole you can:
- Call the Norfolk Cares IMPACT Center at 757-664-6510.
- Email Healthy Neighborhoods at "HealthyNeighborhoods@norfolk.gov." Be sure to include a description of the pothole and the nearest address and cross street in your report.
- Fill out the online Pothole Form.
News 3's Problem Solvers are also working to identify the worst roads in Hampton Roads. Use the form below to let us know about damaged roads in your area.