WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif — Several cities in and around the Greater Sacramento area have been experiencing an increase in potholes, made worse by unrelenting winter storms.
Residents in West Sacramento say they've been dealing with potholes on various streets within the city.
Bruce Monighan has lived in West Sacramento for about five years. He drives along Sacramento Avenue several times a week and says when you drive enough in that area, you start to anticipate where each pothole is and avoid them.
“Personally, I’ve had to replace two tires from potholes in West Sacramento where we’ve hit them, and it's blown up the tire," Monighan said.
John Zonneveld lives and works in West Sacramento, and he pinpointed several roads that need attention like Southport Parkway, Industrial Boulevard, Enterprise Boulevard, Harbor Boulevard, Jefferson Boulevard and Sacramento Avenue.
Zonneveld says when he and others drive to work, they drive on the shoulder to avoid potholes on Southport Parkway and it's often dark so they have to watch out closely for pedestrians.
"Everybody you talk to says the same thing. They ride the right side over that white line to miss the potholes, and somebody eventually is going to get hit," Zonneveld said.
Zonneveld says he'd like to see roads like Southport Parkway get fully redone and repaved, and then properly maintained — similar to the project that was recently completed on West Capitol Avenue.
William Roberts is the Public Works Director for West Sacramento, and he says the city council and staff are aware of the conditions on West Sacramento roads.
He says city crews are working to create short-term solutions like filling potholes in a timely manner, but it depends on the weather and staffing.
West Sacramento's public works streets team filled 980 potholes from Jan 1-March 20, over 35 days of filling. They say rain kept them from doing more.
Roberts says potholes happen after rain seeps into the ground through cracks, creating a void between pavement and the ground below it. In West Sacramento's case, he says the holes were made worse by heavy rain.
"Given this window and the temperature, it's perfect. We'll be out here actually doing the work that's expected. When it rains, that's when it goes into a lull. it takes time to come back to actually work on this so there's a gap in the work. So we try our best," Roberts said.
Cody Sears lives and works along Southport and recently started a grassroots initiative called the WS Road Quality Accountability Group, to communicate with residents and share information on road project funding. Using this group, he also hopes to keep people up to date with news from the city council and infrastructure committee meetings.
He often communicates with West Sacramento business owners and people who live in the city. He also says he does work with city staffers to try and formulate a way to get pertinent information and updates out to the public.
"We want the city to care about the roads we use daily. It’s not necessarily just residents either, you know, its business owners — like the business we run here, it affects our tenants," Sears said.
Roberts says the state of the roads didn't happen overnight but because of several factors.
“Weather, traffic, volume, the difficulty of procuring state and federal funding for road maintenance, and the tough choices past councils have had to make when allocating local funds between the important city priorities such as public safety and roads,” Roberts said.
Roberts says they receive pothole complaints daily from the public and try to get to them as quickly as possible.
ABC10 reached out to the city of West Sacramento about funding for road improvement and city manager Aaron Laurel says they are looking for federal and state money to help with more long-term fixes, like road replacements.
"Keeping roads in a state of good repair is a challenge for every city across the region, state, and country, mainly because there are not adequate funding resources to keep up with maintenance and replacement needs while also balancing funding for other core services like public safety and parks. In West Sacramento, we utilize the limited local funding we have available through our General Fund, our local share of gas taxes, and dedicated revenue from our local sales tax measures to fund the repair and replacement of our roads, and we always look to leverage that funding with outside grant funds from the state and federal government. However, federal and state funds are only available for the complete rehabilitation and replacement of roadways as opposed to filling potholes, so ongoing pothole repair is essentially 100 percent locally funded. Also, there are no emergency federal or state funds available to us for fixing potholes, even after the recent storms. Despite these challenges, the City of West Sacramento regularly deploys maintenance crews to patch roads and fill potholes as they are reported to us, and we are implementing a broader strategy to improve and replace our highest-traffic roadways. This includes the recently completed West Capitol Avenue Safety and Rehabilitation Project, a $17 million project with federal, state, and local funding that repaved three miles of roadway and added wider bike lanes, new sidewalks, and safer crossings and curb cuts for the disabled. The City is also raising funding to do a similar project in the area of the Port of West Sacramento and Southport, along Harbor Boulevard, Industrial Boulevard, Lake Washington Boulevard, and Southport Parkway. Simultaneously, we are also implementing large road improvement projects at the neighborhood level, including the upcoming State Streets Road Rehabilitation Project, which follows upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure in that area," Laurel wrote.
You can report pothole issues on West Sacramento Connect or by calling Public Works at (916) 617-4850.
For information about the Sacramento Avenue Complete Street Community Workshop, click here.
Here's how other cities are responding to potholes
The Sacramento Public Works Department received 387 pothole work orders through 311 between January 16 and March 16. The average number of requests per month in 2022 ended up around 75.
Public Works Maintenance Services has a Pavement Maintenance and Concrete Division that constantly patrols streets to fill potholes. Residential streets are also given attention, and smaller crews are sent out to patch potholes. Often, multiple are done at one time.
The city says they try and respond as quickly as possible to work orders, usually within 48 hours. Of the 387 work order requests, they say 100% were finished within 48 hours.
There was a total of 12,123 total number of potholes patched in the city of Sacramento from January 16 to March 17.
To report a pothole, you can dial 311 (within the city limits), use the 311 app, or submit a service request via email. Be sure to know the size and location of the pothole to help crews.
Roseville has seen a greater number of potholes due to all the water. From December 1, 2022, through March 21, 2023, Roseville crews filled 802 potholes. During that same period last year, they filled 377 potholes.
To report a pothole or other pavement issues, call (916) 774-5790 or email StreetMaintenanceCustomerServiceTeam@roseville.ca.us.
Elk Grove Public Works says it received more calls during January and February when compared to 2022 due to winter storms. They say crews try and fix potholes within two business days and use a fix-it-first strategy for roadways in poorer condition.
You can report potholes, or any other Public Works-related requests in Elk Grove, to the City’s 24-hour Public Works Hotline at (916) 687-3005 or by downloading the app: SeeClickFix Elk Grove.
Rancho Cordova has been impacted by recent storms, however, they say there's a team that works around the clock to fill potholes and address road issues as soon as possible. In the last 20 years, Rancho Cordova has invested more than $100 million into local roads.
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