Motorists who encounter a pothole on streets maintained by the City of Allentown are urged to call the city’s Pothole Hotline. Mayor Ed Pawlowski says callers to the city’s Pothole Hotline at 610-437-8775 can generally anticipate swift action.
“The Streets Department recording asks callers to give the exact location of the pothole along with their name and telephone number in case the city needs to reach them to ascertain a more precise location,” said Pawlowski.
A Street Department crew fills potholes using a PB Patcher unit that is fully self-contained and can be installed on any single axle dump truck. The unit has the capability of keeping hot mix material workable all day. The city has a goal of repairing potholes on high traffic volume streets within 24 hours and lower volume roads in 24-to-48 hours. If a complaint is received of a very large pothole, a supervisor is sent to the scene in a reasonable period of time to determine if immediate action is warranted.
According to Pawlowski, pothole patching is a priority. “At least one crew is assigned to pothole repairs every day. Through mid-2013 the city had filled nearly 4,000 potholes. The cost for materials, equipment, and labor was approximately $26,000.
Potholes result from the freeze-thaw cycle. Water seeps beneath the pavement through cracks caused by the wear and tear of vehicle travel. As the temperatures fall below freezing at night, the water becomes ice and expands below the pavement, forcing the pavement to rise. As the weight of traffic continues to batter this raised section – and the temperatures once again rise above freezing – a shallow divot occurs beneath the surface breaking the pavement and forming a pothole.
Callers can reach the Pothole Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 610-437-8775. The number can also be found on the Streets Department home page of the city’s website at www.allentownpa.gov.