Mayor challenges transportation workers to fill 5,000 potholes in 50 days

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Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young uses a shovel to spread asphalt over a pothole before packing it down. Image courtesy of Charm TV Baltimore.

There was one fewer pothole in Baltimore Wednesday morning after Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young packed asphalt into one on N. Collington Avenue in East Baltimore, kicking off a challenge for transportation workers to fill 5,000 potholes over the next 50 days.

The 50-day pothole challenge is the latest piece of Young’s “Clean It Up!” campaign, which he launched last month, to beautify Baltimore.

Young encouraged anyone who spots a pothole to call 311 or file an online service request for repair.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck effort to accelerate the work done by multiple city agencies as well as a new collaboration with our community partners,” he said. “Making Baltimore cleaner and more beautiful is critical for improving public safety and helping Baltimore’s neighborhoods become more livable and prosperous.”

Department of Transportation Director Steve Sharkey said Young has been gearing him up for the pothole challenge ever since the mayor promoted Sharkey to the DOT director role in July 2019.

“From the day I started, the mayor said ‘Hit those potholes, hit those potholes.’ And guess what? It’s pothole season,” he said, adding that DOT “eagerly accepts” the mayor’s challenge.

Sharkey said potholes are a common occurrence during the winter as water seeps into the roadway, freezes, expands and breaks apart asphalt.

According to Sharkey, March is typically the busiest time of the year for pothole repairs. On average, DOT deploys six to eight pothole repair crews per day, but the department will assign additional workers to repairing potholes throughout the next 50 days.

Marcus Dieterle

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