Houston called out for unfixed potholes amid boasting about record

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As Houston Public Works celebrated a milestone pothole repair, one east side business owner feels frustrated nothing is being done on his road.

Houston Public Works say its pothole repair crews are busy. Last month, it filled 8,728 potholes, a new monthly record.

To celebrate, the department shared a photo on social media, an image that is not sitting well with J.W. Lodge.

"It's like rubbing salt in the wound," Lodge told ABC13 Eyewitness News.

He owns Lodge Lumber, a business he says takes a hit because of the road it's on.

RELATED: City of Houston says it broke record, filling more than 8,000 potholes last month

"We are absolutely losing business because of it," Lodge explained.

Oates Road is one roadway Eyewitness News has profiled for months. More than two months ago, city officials said, patches would be added.

So far, Oates Road has received one. Feeling frustrated, Lodge met with crews in April.

RELATED: Relief coming to E. Houston road plagued by potholes

"We rode together, the entire length of the street," Lodge recalled. "We drove south and documented all areas of concern."

Since then, he says his calls and emails weren't answered. That was until we contacted public works Friday.

"Guess who's calling," Lodge said in the middle of an Eyewitness News interview. "The city of Houston."

An employee told Lodge that the May flooding caused delays. The city reiterated that in a statement to Eyewitness News:

"Houston Public Works continues rehabilitation on Oates Road. The latest skin patch was laid down on April 24th. Houston Public Works currently has three pending skin patchwork orders for Oates Road. The frequent rain events throughout the month of May delayed work in the area. Houston Public Works and Harris County continue to explore long-term options for Oates Road."

But the rain didn't slow down other pothole repairs.

"They're trying to boast themselves on what they're doing," Lodge said. "Fixing 8,000 plus potholes, yet they can't touch the 300 or 400 we have on our street."

RELATED: MAN VS. POTHOLES: Dickinson resident seeking council's blessing to cover up 'monster' street craters

Public works said it'll give Lodge an update on repairs next week. It's the progress he hopes will finally bring repairs to a street in desperate need of them.

Public works' May record was set by potholes filled by crews on their own. The city also relies on drivers contacting 311 about potholes.

Once reported, the city aims to fill them by the next business day. Fewer people, though, are reporting potholes. In February, 1,015 potholes were reported to 311. In May, the number dropped to 529.

Follow Nick Natario on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.