As pothole frustrations grow, see how two communities are responding

Drivers want to see improvements on their roads

Potholes have been a nuisance for drivers and the majority of our viewers want to see road improvements.

Hot temperatures can lead to hairline cracks in the pavement, according to San Antonio’s Public Works Department. Rain then seeps into the cracks and creates gaps. The asphalt begins to break up as vehicles drive over it. The weakened asphalt breaks apart, which results in a pothole.

“It can cause a lot of damage for your vehicle. You can have blown tires, or damage oil pans,” said John Tapia, the operations manager for the city’s Eastside. “So it is a hazard and we want to make sure we address them as fast we can. We have a 48-hour turnaround so we pride ourselves in that, so it is pretty important that we take care of it immediately.”

Potholes can be found just about anywhere in the Alamo City. However, the city of San Antonio’s Public Works Department’s pothole repair service is available for residents to use.

The pothole repair service is easy to use, by calling 3-1-1 or downloading the 3-1-1 mobile app. The Pothole Patrol arrives to the scene, investigates and will make its repairs as needed.

Beyond the San Antonio area, we found resources for drivers on how to report potholes and road conditions in their area:

See the latest videos from the Solutionaries team now on YouTube.

According to Pubic Works’ fiscal year data, crews repaired 94,000 potholes in 2020 and 80,937 in 2021. However, Tapia said they know there are more potholes that aren’t being reported.

“The biggest challenge, we’re at a 90/10 rate, which means we are 90% proactive and 10% reactive. So what we want to do is reach out to the community, reach out to the drivers, that they are our eyes and ears. We want them to call us, report the potholes. We can’t go out there and find them all,” he said.

There is no fee to have a pothole repaired -- Tapia said it’s resident’s tax dollars at work. Although the solution to have a pothole fixed seems simple in San Antonio; the problem is bigger for the small town of Jourdanton.

Merijay Joseph, who commutes through the roads on a daily basis, pointed to just some of the problem areas in a nearby neighborhood.

“Cedar Road, there, this intersection down there. Mesquite, I mean just pick one. Whatever road you drive on, it’s full of them,” she said.

Our crew found potholes on almost every nearby street.

“Conditions of the roads here in Jourdanton is pretty bad. You have to cut down on speeding because you can’t go real fast. You fear you will blow out a tire or take out an axle or something,” Joseph said.

The problems were first identified in a 1991 master plan. Some of the findings include lack of curbs, and gutter for proper drainage, increase in drought-related water line breaks, and inadequate equipment. These were just some reasons that contributed to the deteriorating roadways over the years.

Mayor Robert Williams told our team that the city manager presented a strategic plan to city council in early June. Williams said the city manager plans to dedicate $250,000 in street maintenance and repairs, which is more than they’ve spent in the last five years combined.

However, the mayor asks for his community’s support and understanding as they “move forward to improve the quality of life in their rural community.”

Although some cities have found a solution for potholes, others are still work toward an answer. For some cities, there is a solution. For others, they’re working toward that. There is not one fix all solution for this problem.

In the meantime, AAA has some tips for drivers to avoid pothole damage.

This article is part of “Solutionaries,” our continuing commitment to solutions journalism, highlighting the creative people in communities working to make the world a better place, one solution at a time. Find out what you can do to help at

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