Tampa promises to fix potholes - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa promises to fix potholes

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If you drive in Tampa then you know we have some shoddy streets. Some of our roads are so peppered with potholes that when you dodge one odds are good that you will swerve into another one. There is a reason we have more potholes this year and by the time you finish reading this story you will be armed with some eight on your side advice that will help pave the way for a smoother commute.

As everyone knows, when you hit a pothole bad things can happen. The insurance company Geico has some fun with the subject by using a "talking" pothole to advertise emergency road service but there's nothing amusing about hitting a pothole... which happens a lot in Tampa day or night 27/7, 365 days a year.

I met up with Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn to talk about the problem. He said, he hits a pothole pretty much every day. All the craters, cracks and depressions are not lost on him. The city fills and patches nearly 19-thousand potholes a year and the problem is worse than usual. Mayor Buckhorn blames a 70% increase in the amount of rain that we've had in 2013 that has increased the number of potholes that the city deals with exponentially.

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Scratch below the surface... you'll find bigger, costlier issues; crumbling sewer and waste water lines have all but destroyed some roads like west Cleveland street in south Tampa. It's hard for drivers to imagine a tougher commute on the moon. Mayor Buckhorn told us it would cost millions of dollars to fix Cleveland Street and the city has 60-million less dollars to work with because of a decline in property values. "It's harder to get on a long range maintenance program when you've got your fingers in the dike and you don't have much money to play with."

It could be worse. Some cities have potholes big enough to dive in. Maybe we don't because Tampa promises to fix potholes within a few days... if you call it in. The mayor says, if someone calls in a pothole complaint "... we will be out there in 72-hours." Before the end of the year, the city will offer an app that allows smart phone cameras with GPS tracking to send pictures with a pothole's location.

Dealing with potholes is a never ending headache for most every major metropolitan city. Not only is Tampa spending 300-thousand dollars a year for crews to patch pock-marked streets the city plans to spend another 33 million dollars on storm water and waste water improvements next year to prevent even more depressions. The goal is to preserve 2,800 miles of paved city streets.

So, here's what you need to do if you see a pothole or something that looks like the beginning of a pothole. Call the city at 813-274-3101. Someone should be available to answer that phone line 24-hours a day.

Or you can send an email to the following link: http://www.tampagov.net/appl_customer_service_center/form.asp?strServiceID=106

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