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Syracuse tackling potholes with data

Ellen Abbott
Since April, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said the city has filled more than 3,200 potholes more than usual because of new technology that provides better data for fixing infrastructure.

The city of Syracuse is filling more potholes than usual as it embarks on a more data-driven strategy to fixing crumbling streets.

"We have, since April, filled 3,260 potholes,” said Mayor Stephanie Miner.

She said what you can’t see during this process may be the most important: every time the DuroPatcher goes to work, a GPS-enabled device on the vehicle keeps track of where and when a pothole is filled.  

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner Mayor said the city is better able to track street repairs because of some new technology on the DuraPatcher trucks that documents when and where potholes get taken care of.

“Before it was the count that humans kept, and I know -- especially for me -- there is such a thing as human error," Miner said. "But using this data and the GPS data, and looking at the way we dispatch DuroPatchers [trucks], has helped us fill a lot more potholes.”

Miner said the data also allows the city to better plan street repairs in the future, adding that if these strategies can lengthen the life of a street, it ultimately saves taxpayers money. The technologies are part of initiatives researched by the city’s Office of Innovation.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.