South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

City officials release data on the results of the latest pothole blitz


Preliminary numbers were released last week from the Department of Public Works and the city’s 311 Response Center showing the city responded to nearly 1,700 pothole patching requests during the week and is currently responding to more than 2,000 others.

While the city’s official pothole blitz was delayed until Wednesday, March 11, due to inclement weather pothole patching actually began with overnight crews Sunday, March 8, and included a 24-hour patching shift the following day. In all Public Works crews worked approximately 100 hours during the week on potholes citywide, with more work set for this week.

The city announced the blitz March 6 and it was completed a week later on Friday, March 13. In that time the 311 office issued 3,694 pothole requests to DPW, and as of Monday, March 16, there were still 800 requests yet to be processed by staff. (Many requests listed multiple potholes so 311 staff has been working overtime the past week to organize them.)

In two Public Works divisions 89 percent of pothole requests were completed, three others completed between 49-59 percent, and one completed 18 percent of requests. The latter division, in the city’s East End, was issued 33 percent more pothole requests than any of the five other DPW divisions -- and that concentration of pothole requests is also reflected in this map at produced by the City Planning Department.

“The city is using better technology -- and the sweat of hard-working DPW crews citywide -- to swiftly and transparently respond to as many potholes as we can. These numbers are getting better every day,” Mayor William Peduto said.

The numbers in the full report, available at, are preliminary and changing. Public Works has already responded to many of the pothole requests listed as outstanding in the report, and is sending additional crews to the hard-hit 2nd and 3rd divisions tomorrow and Thursday.

It is responding to the requests as quickly as possible, while also getting shelters and ballfields ready for spring, picking up garbage that had been buried under February’s snows, and attending to other work, such as cleanup after Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Parade activities in Downtown and the South Side.

Pothole repairs will become even more effective once hot asphalt is available for patching in early April.

“We have the right amount of resources to address potholes, while managing the other tasks we have to do. Hope is on the horizon -- and the horizon is nearly here,” Public Works Director Mike Gable said.

To fully keep its 900-mile street infrastructure sound, the city should be paving 80 to 90 miles of streets per year. The life cycle of paving jobs is roughly 8-10 years.

Due to budget constraints the city only paved 40 miles last year, but was able to bump that up to plans for 50 miles this year.

Last week’s pothole blitz came on the heels of two snow events the week earlier.


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