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Mayor Stoney helps Department of Public Works fill city’s 20,000th pothole of 2017

The milestone marks progress in DPW’s goal of working through a backlog of pothole repair requests, along with open tickets for alley repairs, brush pickup, and more.

Trevor Dickerson

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Mayor Levar Stoney was out in the trenches yesterday–quite literally–as the City of Richmond filled its 20,000th pothole for the year. On site in Highland Park, the mayor helped crews pour pavement, spread it, and smooth it out–a symbolic measure of his overall goal for a smoother ride in a city riddled with a bevy of potholes.

The milestone came just nine months into the year, whereas city crews repaired just 18,000 potholes for the entire year of 2016.

Early in the year, three Department of Public Works crews, including both temporary workers and full-time city employees, embarked on a goal of filling 50 potholes per crew daily. Currently, there are fewer than 50 open tickets in the system. At one point, the city says over 800 open tickets were in the queue.

The department has also made progress on repairing long-neglected city alleyways, grading over 1,000 of them so far this year–a span totaling over 70 miles. Their stated goal is to reach 1,300 total by the end of September.

City workers are also working on reducing the backlog of bulk and brush pickup requests, reducing 2,630 open requests in 2016 down to 265. The city says 96% of those are less than two weeks old.

“This kind of progress and improvement is what we work toward every day to make life better for our residents,” said Mayor Stoney. “I commend the efforts of DPW Director Bobby Vincent and our hard-working DPW crews, who have taken on the challenge of literally taking the bumps out of the roads we travel. We still have work to do, but we’re are on the right path to a Richmond that works better.”

To prepare for the upcoming winter season, the city has also purchased two pothole patching machines, each capable of filling 50 potholes per day with one operator on board.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.