Potholes are popping up across SoCal following recent storms. Here's what it takes to fix them

David González Image
Friday, March 24, 2023
Potholes are popping up across SoCal. Here's how they get fixed
The rain has deteriorated and damaged roadways across Southern California, leaving behind potholes that have become a bane for drivers.

VILLA PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- Southern California's recent storms have helped alleviate the drought, but it's been a headache for drivers dealing with potholes.

The rain has deteriorated and damaged roadways across the region, leaving behind potholes that have become a bane for drivers and a boon for asphalt maintenance companies.

Crews with Ben's Asphalt stay busy year round.

"You can't even comprehend how much damage is out there," said Jeremy Taylor, a project manager and estimator for the company. "You see it more and more every day."

Recent storms have pushed their workload into overdrive.

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"In the micro the rain doesn't allow us to work, but in the macro of everything it's going to create work for years to come," Taylor said.

In Villa Park, one team is working to fix up to 10 potholes on a small stretch of road. They're getting loose debris out of the potholes, using a torch to heat them up, before filling them and compacting them with asphalt.

"For the next few months I see us being in a reactive state, just trying to fix immediate repairs, catching up on top of the larger projects that are already on schedule and the other ones that will start coming in as well," Taylor said.

He said the rain has deteriorated a lot of asphalt and damaged roadways across SoCal.

The potholes left behind can lead to problems for drivers.

"Especially when they're filled with water, you can't see the water and the next thing you know you're on the side of the road with a flat tire," Taylor said.

If left untreated, he said the potholes will only get worse.

"Once the asphalt loses its oil component and the fines, and the erosion starts, that's when the potholes will start to get bigger and bigger over time," he said.

Taylor warns these repairs are only a temporary solution to prevent cars from getting damaged.

"A long-term fix would be to actually fix the street the correct way, doing like a grind and overlay, removing and replacing the asphalt," Taylor said.

Ben's Asphalt encourages people to report potholes immediately. They say the city you live in is responsible for any major repairs, while private roads are taken care by the people who own them.