Potholes are common in Utah. During our cold winters, the freezing and thawing of water on roads often leads to the breakdown of asphalt and concrete.
The good news is, transportation departments are as concerned about fixing potholes as you are. In fact, they depend on the public to identify where they are and when they need to be fixed.
John Gleason, public information officer for Utah's Department of Transportation says, "Members of the public are our eyes and ears. We rely on them to help us identify problem spots."
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at how potholes get fixed.
Who maintains the roads?
In every state, a central government department is responsible for maintaining roads and public transportation. The Federal Transit Administration and other U.S.-wide bodies distribute funding and communicate policy changes to all of the state transportation departments.
In Utah, UDOT is broken up into specific offices that address problems, receive feedback from concerned residents and spearhead short-term and long-term initiatives related to transportation.
UDOT provides resources to the cities and towns within Utah's borders for the maintenance of their roads and other transportation systems. Each city and town approaches road maintenance a little differently, so it's important to find out how to report a pothole in your area.
Potholes on federal interstates and state highways
When you see a pothole, the first thing to do is report it to the right office. Luckily, technology is making it easier than ever to do that. Although reporting can be done with a telephone call or an email, increasingly, websites and apps provide a platform for people who notice problems to report.
UDOT launched an app in 2015, Click 'N Fix. This app provides users with a chance to show UDOT where potholes exist in the road and get a response more quickly than with a traditional phone call. However, Gleason states, "UDOT will only be able to help with issues on federal interstates and state highways like Bangerter Highway (S.R. 154) and State Street (U.S. 89)."
A website for reporting potholes or traffic problems anywhere
A good way to report issues and connect with your specific city transportation experts is the website SeeClickFix. The homepage states, "SeeClickFix allows you to play an integral role in public services — routing neighborhood concerns like potholes and light outages to the right official with the right information."
On the site, verified UDOT representatives can view reports and registered users' comments and tell you who has jurisdiction over the specific road issue you want fixed.
Getting in touch with your city directly
You can also skip the middle man by researching your city's preferred method for reporting potholes. For example, for Orem residents, this site provides a map where they can indicate where potholes are located. For Provo, you'll want to call or email. Salt Lake City also utilizes a handy website with a pin-drop feature.
Steps to fixing the pothole
Cities in Utah know that potholes are no small problem. The Salt Lake City website states, "Salt Lake City responds within two working days after receiving notification (of a pothole). If a citizen reports that the pothole is dangerous or is causing problems for traffic, we will respond immediately."
Gleason says that road problems and requests are received in a central bank. Utah is split up into four regions and the requests are sent out to the specific entity involved. From there, crews are dispatched to fix the issue, usually within 24 hours.
Gleason says, "Because this winter has been snowy and involved freeze and thaw cycles, our crews have been especially active."
Read more from the Utah League of Cities and Towns on DeseretNews.com or visit their website at ulct.org.