Philadelphians’ soured relationship with potholes runs deep, but the season for bumpy roads is back.
Spring means the beginning of the end for freeze-and-thaw cycles that can lead to treacherous terrain for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. And it’s time for pothole repairs to get into full swing.
So far in 2019, the Philadelphia Streets Department has filled about half as many potholes as the same period last year, said chief highway engineer Steve Lorenz.
“A lot of that has to do with focusing on good road repair and putting the city back into a state of good repair," especially through resurfacing, Lorenz said of the need to fill fewer potholes.
A handful of readers have raised questions about potholes through Curious Philly, The Inquirer’s forum in which readers submit questions about their communities and our journalists find answers, and on social media.
PennDot spokesperson Chelsea Lacey-Mabe explained that Pennsylvania’s freeze-thaw and precipitation cycles can make the area’s roads susceptible to potholes: “When it’s above freezing and it rains and then the moisture seeps into the cracks in the road and then it freezes, that expands the road and then when a car drives over that, it breaks up the gravel and that’s how potholes are formed.”