Potholes remain a problem, more funding could be on its way to ballot

pothole repairs in Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - A wet and snowy winter has left Tucson road crews busy fixing thousands of potholes, but more money could be on the way to tackle the city's chronic pothole problem.

“It’s just a big grid of potholes, this entire area,” said Marc Padilla, a Seneca Street resident in the Jefferson Park neighborhood for more than ten years. “There are four or five right in front of my house. I have thought to call before and have had neighbors do it, but I figure it is sort of like talking in to a cave. Saying you don’t like potholes here is sort of like saying you like Eegees. It’s just part of living in Tucson.”

Officials say the Tucson Department of Transportation has their hands full and are constantly playing catch up. Since the start of 2019, road repair crews have filled nearly 14,000 potholes.

“It shows how hard our crews are working out there,” Mike Graham, public information officer with the Tucson Department of Transportation said. “It proves that we still have a need, an unfunded need for our roadways.”

Crews typically have hundreds of reported requests for repairs to visit. Four full time crews of three repair potholes in Tucson.

Recently passed Prop 101 and Prop 409 have added tens of millions to road maintenance budgets, but Graham says it is not enough.

“We have approximately 600 million dollars in need just for the local streets,” he said.

House Bill 2109 could be headed to Pima County voters soon. The bill would allow the regional transit authority to increase a half cent sales tax to a full penny, with some of those funds going towards road repairs. Opponents in the house and senate say their constituents can’t afford the half cent sales tax increase, and believe more can be done to spend the money already allocated to road projects and repairs more effectively.

Back on Seneca, Padilla says anything that can smooth out the streets across Tucson sounds appealing.

“It really doesn’t bother me to pay for something I know I’m going to use,” Padilla said. “I’ve been in Tucson for ten years, and I have no problem investing in a city that I plan on living in for more than ten years in the future right?”

To report a pothole, please go to The City of Tucson website.

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