Expert: Pothole situation worse the longer fixes wait

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Whether it's at a high- or low-speed, vehicle impacts on roads are only going to make Omaha's pothole situation worse, according to a local expert.

The research of Dr. Jiong Hu, a University of Nebraska associate professor, centers around road-surface materials.

"Truck driving very fast through potholes… The vehicle is another component,” he said. “If you have loose components and vehicles keep impacting it, it will get worse."

In 2018, the City of Omaha fielded more than 11,000 pothole reports on its hotline.

Dr. Hu said the cold and snowy start to 2019 is only making matters worse, and that the city should fix as many potholes as possible — now.

“Small potholes can be fixed faster, and the pavement will last longer,” he said. “But if you leave it there, it will get bigger and get worse.”

In her State of the City address Friday afternoon, the mayor said the city's street-maintenance staff has been working 24/7 since Feb. 4.

“It takes a team to keep streets open during severe winter weather,” she said. “The street- maintenance team is represented here today by employees who have been plowing streets and repairing potholes all winter.”

The city has contractors available to help out with pothole repair; but so far, they say, they've got it under control

“The city is doing a pretty good job in doing all this,” Dr. Hu said. “But I just hope that if you have enough — I know the resources are always limited — but I think it would be good to do more often maintenance."