Prioritizing the pothole problems

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A steep hill in Topeka has had drivers swerving dangerously at its peak to avoid hitting potholes. The city has now patched the problem near Southeast 21st and Wittenberg. But after a woman called us with her concerns… KSNT News looked at how street repairs are prioritized.

A steep hill with a steep problem… Right near the intersection of Southeast 21st Street and Wittenberg Road the hill needed pothole repairs until now…the patchwork here on Southeast 21 cost $742.

“Patching is a temporary repair,” Ron Raines, Topeka Superintendent of Transportation Operations said.

But how does the city of Topeka decide which roads get pothole repairs done first?

“A priority one is something which will be patched within 48-hours,” Raines said. “A priority two can take up to 15 days. And lower priority projects can take up to 60-days.”

The city only fixes roads like this one if drivers could have a difficult time on it.

“We only replace an entire street if it absolutely requires it. We try to maintain the pavement as long as we can,” Raines said.

Raines says the patchwork is a temporary solution while they try to come up with a long term fix. The street going up the hill is something the city is planning to fix…

“The steep grade of the hill is the problem. Engineering is aware of the issue out there but due to the traffic load of that particular road. It’s a low priority project right now,” Raines said.

Raines says he is not sure when the hill repair project will be started but it is in the works.

On average one pothole repair could cost the city anywhere from $20 to $300… Depending on the size of the pothole.

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