Winter Storms Left LA With Potholes Everywhere. Here's an Update on Repairs

A series of storms that brought days of rain to Los Angeles left street services crews with a long to-do list.

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Sunny, warm and dry weather returned to Los Angeles this week, but drivers all over the are encountering jarring reminders of a rain season for the record books.

The storms left Los Angeles with an obstacle course of potholes and lot of work for street services repair crews. Mayor Karen Bass and members of the street services department spoke Thursday morning about that repair work on potholes and other damage from the winter and early spring storms.

"For Angelenos who have hit a pothole… it's more than an inconvenience, it's a financial burden," Bass said. "Our city is increasingly unaffordable, and these damages could mean missed days of work and unaffordable costs that create tradeoffs at home."

Teams have been driving on streets throughout the city looking for areas in need of repair, Bass said. On the stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard where she spoke Thursday in Mission Hills, Bass said crews have finished 14 pothole repairs since January.

Bass encouraged people to call 311 to report a pothole or file a report through the city's 311 app.

Keith Mozee, executive director and general manager of the Bureau of Street Services, said the department has received 19,642 pothole repair request since Dec. 30. About 17,459 of those requests have been completed, he said.

Under normal conditions, the repair response time is 1 to 3 days, he said. Crews are being diverted from other daily jobs to keep up with pothole repair demand, Mozee said.

"Repairing potholes is a daily task for us," Mozee said. "We're making good progress, but it's not good enough for anyone who's been impacted by a pothole."

After the initial wave of storms in January, Los Angeles received more than 3,400 complaints about potholes. Last year, a total of 824 drivers filed pothole claims with the city.

Los Angeles has a system in place for residents to notify the city about potholes. State law allows the city "sufficient time" to fix a pothole after authorities are notified. The city told NBCLA it is committed to repairing potholes within three days.

Of the 800-plus claims filed in 2022, the city only paid 182 of them, about 22%. The year before, the city paid just 24% of pothole claims.

Filing a Pothole Claim With City of LA

  • File a claim.
  • Be sure to include as much documentation as possible, like repair bills and pictures.
  • The city may request more documentation.
  • The city's response will come in four to six weeks.
  • For LA County drivers, a repair request can be made online by filling out a form.

How Potholes Form

Potholes typically form when water sinks into cracks in asphalt, then soaked up by the mixture of rock, gravel and sand supporting the street.

The weight of cars passing over the road force water through the roadbed, causing erosion. Asphalt then sinks into the eroded areas and cracked under the weight of passing cars.

That's when chunks of the road come loose and a pothole forms. The hole can be filled with patching material.

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