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Pothole complaints are the highest they've been in 4 years in Cincinnati

A man filling a pothole
Becca Costello
A Cincinnati Public Services crew filling potholes on Purcell Ave. in Price Hill on February 23, 2022.

Road crews are working mandatory overtime to fill potholes on Cincinnati streets. Mayor Aftab Pureval announced the extra work time Wednesday in response to a big increase in reported potholes.

So far this month, about 1,500 reports have come in, compared to less than 400 last February. The Public Services Department usually has two eight-hour shifts each week day; the mandatory overtime will be for additional shifts on the weekends.

Even with the extra shifts, Pureval says it will take time to catch up, partly because crews can't fill potholes when it's raining.

"It's gonna rain the rest of the week [and] we might have another snow event," Pureval said. "You can believe that once there's a respite from that weather and once conditions allow, we'll continue to be all hands on deck."

The same crews filling potholes will have to shift to snow removal and treating streets if another winter storm hits.

About 1,200 service requests are still active, out of the 2,200 potholes that have been reported since January 1.

"This is the highest number of complaints we've seen in over four years, and it's mostly a response to this most recent ice storm," said Interim City Manager John Curp. "Given the sudden increase in reports our crews are working faster than ever."

Curp and Pureval wouldn't say how long the mandatory overtime will be in place. So far this month, potholes have been filled in about six days on average, longer than usual but a better pace than this time last year.

How to report a pothole:

Call 591-6000 (staffed weekdays 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.)


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Watch the video below to see how a pothole gets filled.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.