Attacking Tucson's pothole problem

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You complained. And the city listened.

Monday, the city threw huge amounts of resources to try and deal with potholes. And there are thousands of them out there.

Take a quick ride down Chantilly Drive, just north of the Park Place Mall, and you'll find a road typical of many Tucson streets today.

The street is plagued with potholes -- due in large part to mother nature. Heavy equipment operator Darrin Meisterhans explains, "it's from the moisture. The moisture goes through the little cracks, water goes through the smallest crack and it follows the crack, it gets under the weight of the vehicles. If it doesn't have time to dry out, and it just pops it out."

Darrin is a member of Tucson's understaffed Streets and Maintenance Division, "we're down a lot of staff. I wish we could get some help. Also we're down -- furloughs were 52 hours."

On Monday, his three-man crew worked feverishly with more than 3 tons of hot asphalt to smooth out the bumps on Chantilly Drive, "we want to make the city safe for bikes and trucks and traffic."

His team's efforts are part of the city's new pothole revenge campaign.

85 employees will work for the next month to fill the city's estimated 111,000 potholes.

The city will first focus its attention to potholes found on major arterial roads and on potholes that they hear about through the see, click, fix program. The program allows people to use their smart phones to send photos and descriptions of potholes to the city transportation department.

Transportation Superintendent Lance Peterson is happy with the program, "actually it's been real responsive. I think we got just 14 over the weekend alone."

But don't expect an immediate response. Fox 11 reported a pothole on Grant at Stone two weeks ago and the city still hasn't filled it. It's just one more for the crews' already hefty workload.

City transportation officials say people should notice a difference in about two weeks. Crews will focus mainly on streets going east to west before they start major work on streets heading north to south.

City transportation officials say people should notice a difference in about two weeks. Crews will focus mainly on streets going east to west before they start major work on streets heading north to south.