Dallas 'Pothole Patrol' gets a sponsor

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by DAVID SCHECHTER / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

wfaa.com

Posted on April 14, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 14 at 10:49 PM

DALLAS — Potholes have pockmarked some of the busiest intersections in Dallas.

It seems like a never ending problem in the entire region — not just for drivers, but for all of the cities struggling to repair them.

The potholes are winning because of heavy winter rain. While the City of Dallas isn't running out of money, they are trying something new to subsidize the effort: advertising.

The city says Hartford Financial Services Group approached them with the idea to sponsor the "Pothole Patrol." Dallas liked the concept so much that it has extended the same offer to other private companies willing to pick up the cost of a day of pothole repairs.

Mechanics like Brian Cowie at ESS Repair in Dallas are seeing more and more damage caused by potholes. "If you blow a ball joint and dent the rim, about $1,100," he said.

Ouch.

Gaping potholes are a perennial headache for Dallas drivers. The city says it repairs 20,000 voids every year. Dennis Ware, assistant director of Dallas Streets Services, said the 2010 total could reach 23,000.

But on Thursday, The Hartford will defray a day's worth of pothole repair costs.

On their Web site, residents can vote on the pothole that is most in need of attention.

"The sponsor company has some advertisements, and we the city receive a grant, if you will, to help us facilitate the fixing the potholes," Ware said.

While the city has slashed the streets budget by 25 percent, there was no change to the pothole repair budget.

While Ware says Dallas does have enough money to fix its own potholes, the department welcomes any help it can get dealing with this year's extra work.

Fort Worth has seen an increase in the number of potholes after February's record snow storm. In a two week stretch, the city filled nearly 59,000 potholes.

That's about half the amount that crews fixed during the entire previous year.

Fort Worth says it will remain within budget by putting other street repair projects on hold.

In Plano, the city is filling about a half dozen potholes a day. The city it has seen a slight increase in the problem, but that the street maintenance budget will not be affected.

 

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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