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Council News Release

3/19/2008  2:40:00 PM

Mayor Declares Open Season on Potholes
Gives Pothole Rangers a license to fill

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels today declared open season on potholes and kicked off a campaign by the citys Pothole Rangers to fill a record number over the next week. The city will dedicate extra crews and equipment to attack the worst axle-benders in Seattle from March 19-26.

But the attempt wont succeed without the publics help. The mayor asked everyone to use the citys pothole hotline - 684-ROAD (684-7623) - to report trouble spots around the city. To underscore the point, he issued motorists and bicyclists a Pothole Hunting License good for the entire year.

The only good pothole is a filled pothole, Nickels said. Our Rangers need your help. If you see a pothole, grab your phone and dial 684-ROAD. The more you report, the more we fill.

The Pothole Rangers, a street maintenance team from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), focus exclusively on repairing potholes for the city. They filled 38,215 in 2007 alone and have fixed 389,860 since January 2002. Six trucks and up to 24 SDOT employees will support the Open Season, with additional equipment and crews to be added if needed.

The city of Seattles goal is to fill potholes within 48 hours (two business days) after they are reported. It achieved a 95% success rate since 2002.

The citys longer term solution for fixing potholes is to pave or reconstruct streets needing significant repair. Thanks to the nine-year, $365 million Bridging the Gap levy passed by voters, the city has been able to turn the tide on a generation of under-investment in our transportation system.

Among its many 2007 accomplishments, Bridging the Gap paved 27 miles of roads, restriped 1,578 miles of arterials, replaced street-name signs at 1,043 intersections, remarked 789 crosswalks, repaired 14 blocks of existing sidewalks, and built 13 blocks of new sidewalks. In addition, bridges were refurbished, guard rails replaced, staircases repaired and signs in school zones improved.

In 2008, Bridging the Gap will pave nearly 33 miles of streets, restripe 1,300 miles of arterials, replace street-name signs at 1,071 intersections, remark 850 crosswalks, build 15 blocks of new sidewalks, and repair 22 blocks of existing sidewalks.

To learn more about potholes and the citys efforts to fix them, visit SDOTs pothole website at Citizens can report potholes by calling 684-ROAD (7623) or by submitting information online at the website.

Visit the mayors web site at Get the mayors inside view on efforts to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at


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