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Got a pothole? This is how KCMO decides where to patch first

Massive pothole
Posted at 9:40 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 23:22:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Since the beginning of the year, the city's 311 call center has opened 4,500 requests to fix potholes.

Many of the unresolved cases can be found in south Kansas City. One of the craters sits in front of Fields Brothers Import Auto Repair at Troost Ave. and 89 Terrace. The ankle-deep hole blew one driver's tire out just last week.

"That can cause thousands of dollars of damage to the right car," said Corey Fields, Jr., who manages the auto shop with his father.

The pothole has its own open 311 case, created on March 8.

So how does the city decide which ones are patched first?

"It's not a first call, first filled basis," said KCMO Public Works Public Information Officer Maggie Green.

Each day 311 complaints go out to crews in the city's maintenance districts, and they take several factors into account while planning routes.

"What we're looking to prioritize is highly trafficked, volume streets, so streets with a lot of cars," said Green, "We're looking at places where there's just a lot of holes on a certain stretch."

The map below shows the 311 pothole cases reported in 2019. Red dots represent closed cases, while green ones are still open.

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Once you dial 311, there's no predicting how quickly crews will be out to fix potholes, but 41 Action News crunched some data to see how many requests have been addressed and how long it took.

First, we looked at Monday, Feb. 25. According to the city's data, of the 242 cases opened that day, 69 percent have been resolved. The cases were closed within an average of 10 days.

Then we looked at Monday, March 11. That day saw 118 pothole requests, and 62 percent are now resolved. On average it took just two days to close the cases.

"Our crews are really working hard," Green said of the progress made so far.

Public works crews filled 27,500 potholes from December to the first week of March.

Fields hopes to soon see crews at work on the pothole in front of his business.

"What we were told is there's so many all over town, they kind of get to them as they can get to them," he said.

According to Green, calling 311 a bunch of times will not push your pothole to the top of the fix list.