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Syracuse Public Works Committee to assist DPW in pothole fixes

Ellen Abbott

The Syracuse Public Works Committee is working to find a solution for one of the city’s biggest road complaints.

Since the start of the year, the City of Syracuse Department of Public Works has received 324 pothole-related requests. With the winter months now at an end, the number of potholes is expected to increase. At a meeting with the Public Works Committee on Tuesday, D.P.W. Commissioner Jeremy Robinson said potholes are just a regular part of spring.

“Just like the litter, no one sees the litter when the snow is on the ground,” Robinson said. “But once the snow starts to melt, litter is everywhere, just like the potholes. They just start showing up.”

The common cause of potholes on roads is winter weather, something that Syracuse sees a lot of. Fluctuating temperatures cause water to expand and contract, leading to the stubborn holes. Robinson said it can be easy to think that each year gets worse, but this year should not be any different from the rest.

“Every year is worse than the next and the next and the next,” Robinson said. “But, I think it’s all the same.”

Some D.P.W. workers expressed their frustration at the amount of pothole work they are tasked with completing, versus the amount of paving work they are given. Robinson said it is just something that has to get done.

“It’s a tedious thing to do, but we get the complaints,” Robinson said. “Every day, all day.”

Robinson said this year’s work will look just like any other, with D.P.W. addressing potholes all over the city.

“We will tackle it like we normally do every year,” Robinson said. “After winter, there is a plethora of potholes all throughout the city, different sides of towns.”

Some pothole work is done over the winter but efforts are not really ramped up until the spring. Robinson said the warm weather crews are able to get to more because the weather is better.

“We do have a little small pothole crew that go out during the winter,” Robinson said. “It is not as intense as the ones we have in the spring and the summer.”

Syracuse DPW is expecting to begin addressing pothole issues with more personnel in April.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.