Mayor falling short on promise to fix potholes, records show

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Pothole complaints are something we hear from people in the field. When he took office, Mayor Sylvester Turner pledged to fix this.

For the past couple of weeks, we investigated his pothole patrol and uncovered documents showing he's falling short of fixing Houston's pothole problem.

RELATED: Some drivers say Houston mayor's pothole promise not being fulfilled

Houston drivers like Thomas Johnston know what they're in for when they leave their homes.

"I mean, the potholes can be half a foot deep easily, and you're bouncing up on the roads," Johnston said.

"I think Houston has become known as the pothole city," driver William Attra said. "The pothole king capitol of the U.S."

Three years ago, Mayor Turner took aim at potholes with a dedicated crew. The city says it has the capability to fill 300 potholes a day, but a records request revealed its falling short.


During the first two years, emails revealed the city patched about 65,000 potholes each year. But last year, it fell to 47,000.

As for the 300 potholes a day, last year the city averaged around 100.

Emails show the city had issues with broken equipment and an operator shortage.

"I understand equipment breaks, but I think the city of Houston should have the monetary means to fix the potholes in our city," resident Tim McCauley said.

Money shouldn't have been an issue. In Public Works' most recent budgets, the city allocated money to fix 52,000 potholes. But the department fell well short of its goal.

With winter months normally creating a recipe for more potholes, locals hope more potholes are filled this year.

"It seems like if you're going to have an effort to try and fix these things, and your numbers are going in the other direction, that doesn't sound good," resident Ed Novotny said.

We reached out to the city for a comment, but have not heard back.

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