Pothole problem plagues Portland once again

PBOT has patched about 15,000 potholes this year -- more than double the yearly average

PBOT patched 15,000 potholes this year, but they're opening back up due to immediate , short-term fixes. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Last winter, Portland received thousands of calls about pothole problems.

With so many complaints, the Portland Bureau of Transportation elected to respond to as many as they could with short-term fixes. PBOT had a “patch-a-thon” to meet the demand.

This year, the city has patched about 15,000 potholes, over double from what they do on average.

PBOT spokesperson Dylan Rivera said a short-term fix was better than no fix at all when it came to responding to the high number of pothole complaints. (KOIN)

“Even if it was a short term fix we felt like it was better than no fix at all,” said PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera.

Now, after those potholes were fixed in spring, they’re popping back up all over Portland.

“I live here,” said Joe, who hates potholes. “This is Bybee (Bridge) and potholes are terrible.”

The potholes in Southwest Portland, for example, were patched in spring despite continuing cool conditions, which is not ideal for patching. That affected how long the potholes would remain fixed.

“In rainy weather we have to use a cold mix asphalt that doesn’t last as long as a hot mix,” Rivera said.

The cold-mix solution can last sometimes as short as 6 months, which explains the potholes’ return to Portland. Rivera said the pothole problem starts with the high volume of them. About 40% of the city’s streets are classified as poor, or worse, condition. “”

Joe, a Portland resident, doesn’t like potholes. (KOIN)

“If we can get those streets that are in poor and very poor condition up to good condition, we can prevent potholes from occurring in the first place,” Rivera said.

Still, potholes are back, and without a long-term fix drivers will continue to deal with them.

“Its all over town,” said Joe, who did not disclose his last name to KOIN 6. “They’re making some improvements, but they spend more money on those damn bike lanes.”

You can learn more about PBOT and potholes by clicking here.