Pothole season comes early to Philadelphia

The winter’s excessive snow and temperature fluctuations have taken a toll on the region’s roadways. Drivers are contending with a bumpercrop of potholes.

Some drivers at Third and Fairmount braked suddenly when they noticed this two-foot-wide pothole, then crept over to the side inching along a row of parked cars. Others took it nice and easy. One driver charged it straight on, and the car let out a terrible scraping shriek. Yikes.

Taxi driver Mohammad Gharbi is no daredevil. He navigated his way slowly around the divot like a pro.

“It’s bad. They are everywhere in the city now. Especially here in Northern Liberties,” Gharbi said. “I’ve got to avoid them so I don’t damage my car.”

Philadelphia Streets Department officials say typically the City’s pothole season does not start until March.

Want to turn a calm looking driver into an outspoken critic? Just ask Rose McMenamin about the pothole in question,

“It’s horrendous! I nearly fell into it !” McMenamin laughed. “It was horrible. I go through them just very very slow. Cause it’ll kill your car.”

McMenamin should know – she killed a wheel on another crater.

City officials expect the number of potholes to increase over the next six to eight weeks. The Streets Department has dispatched its pothole patcher. It can fill as many as 60 potholes a day.

Whether you see a pothole, or a ditch unraveling, or the presence of water at the location, citizens should contact the Streets Department Customer Affairs Unit at (215) 686-5560 or 3-1-1 to report the defect. Citizens may also visit the Streets Department’s website.

Citizens can contact PennDOT directly at their maintenance hotline, 1-800-FIX-ROAD (349-7623) for defects on State Routes.  Road defects within SEPTA’s right-of-way (in the area between trolley tracks and within 18 inches on either side) can be reported to SEPTA Customer Service at (215) 580-7852 or online.

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