Fall River tackles city's pothole problem

Mayor Will Flanagan and the Fall River Department of Public Works have identified roughly 2,000 potholes across city that need, and are getting, the attention they so rightly deserve, with two full-time city workers whose sole job it is to fill, patch and fix.

The mayor blames this past winter, with more than 30 inches of snow, as the culprit.

"All that snowfall has caused upheaval of our public ways," Flanagan said.

Flanagan said the two public workers can tackle about 50 per week.

So digging deeper and doing the math, will it really take 40 weeks to get ready to start all over again?

The 2,000 number includes what are called "de-lamination surfaces."

"The layers of asphalt peeling, so the top layer comes off which is the finish coat, and leaves a rough layer underneath. It doesn't affect driving, but it needs to be repaired. So it's counted as a pothole," said Ken Pacheco of the Department of Public Works.

Pacheco said the number of "classic potholes" is about 500.

The main potholes, like on Seaberry Street not far from Pine Street, are the ones that cost the city the most because they cause the most damage.

Carlos Camara has made a claim with the city because he claims he lost a muffler backing out of his driveway. He said he hasn't heard back from the city.

Claims can reach $50,000 a year in Fall River for pothole damage, which is an incentive to fix them.

Main streets, state routes through the city, and ambulance and evacuation routes get priority.

Meanwhile, with state funding, a different crew tackling sidewalks and entire streets that need to be resurfaced is good news for the residents on Linden Street, where Michael O'Brien lives.

"Every side street except for this one is new, and this is the only one they haven't done," he said.

"Our roads are kind of rough right now because of the bad weather that we had all winter-long, so we're going to do our best to try to get it done for the people of Fall River," said Chris Gallagher of the Department of Public Works.

Starting Thursday, a new "Pothole Hot Line" will be activated in Fall River, with an outgoing recorded message, and instructions for people to leave a message.

The phone number is 508-324-2606.