Recent rains triple potholes across the state

Mother Nature is keeping road crews busy as they work to fix potholes created by the unusually rainy weather. This week, they have their hands full with twice as many problems to fix.

Even with gray clouds hovering, and the rain falling, KHON2 caught one city crew working quickly to fill potholes in Kalihi. It takes workers roughly two minutes to fill two potholes on Kohou St., and then they’re off to another spot.

“It can really mess up your shocks and it can sink your car,” said driver Tiah Davidson.

The city usually has between 700-800 potholes to fix, but this week, because of the recent rains, crews have twice as many to fill, or about 1,500.

“Where there’s the greatest concentration or report of potholes, we’ll center on that and try to work around it,” said Ross Sasamura, director of Dept. of Facility Maintenance. “We try to get every pothole that we encounter not just the ones reported.”

Officials say potholes will appear in areas with the highest traffic counts. On Oahu, drivers will find them in the Honolulu area.

The state reports the majority of potholes in areas including Kamehameha Hwy. between Pearl City and Aiea, Kalanianaole Hwy. between Kahala and Hawaii Kai, and from Kaneohe to downtown Honolulu on Pali Hwy.

State crews also have their hands full, fixing an average of 6,200 potholes a month last fiscal year. So far this fiscal year, the number has more than tripled to more than 19,000 potholes a month that have been repaired.

Still, pedestrians are complaining about the dangers. “There are a few around,” said pedestrian Hannah Trigger. “Just yesterday, I nearly rolled my ankle in one when I wasn’t watching.”

Drivers say it takes an extra skill to dodge these landmines, “because you are so focused on not wrecking your car into a hole or going over a road,” Davidson said.

The city is asking the public for patience and assistance. “We ask for their cooperation in calling the pothole hotline instead of complaining to their coworkers, their neighbors or to their friends,” Sasamura said.

The city and state have different hotline numbers to report potholes. If it’s a city road, call 768-7777. If it’s a state road, call 831-6714. It usually takes up to 48 hours to fix a pothole once it’s reported.

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