Houston Potholes Tracker

When It's Not a Pothole

When a Pothole Is Not a Pothole: Other Types of Street Repair

PWE’s Street Maintenance Section handles several programs to keep about 16,000 lane miles of city streets in good and safe repair for drivers. The programs include pothole repair, skin patch repair, asphalt overlay, concrete panel replacement, street sweeping, mowing, and weed control.

A pot hole is generally considered to be a road defect less than 24" in diameter. These repairs are made with asphalt and are normally repaired with a one person pot hole patch truck. This one person truck makes the repair using a liquid asphalt emulsion and small stone aggregate. Usually a repair made by the one person truck is complete within 15 minutes after arrival at the location.

Non-Pothole Repair Techniques:

Asphalt Overlay:

Asphalt overlay is the resurfacing of a street that uses two crews and normally takes several days per street. The City plans overlay projects by neighborhood (Overlay Map), not individual streets, for maximum efficiency; this also leaves the neighborhood with a uniform overall appearance. Overlay is not designed or intended to solve drainage problems or eliminate water ponding issues.

Overlay extends the life of the roadway and addresses only the riding surface. The first crew is a milling crew that removes the old asphalt surface. Depending on the thickness of the existing asphalt the City will remove 2" to 6" of material during this process. Once the old asphalt is removed a second crew will move in with an asphalt paving machine and apply a new asphalt surface between 1 ½" to 2" thick. The City expects a minimum life of five years for an overlay project and some overlays can last 20 years.

Concrete Panel Repair
Concrete Panel Repair:

Concrete panel repairs are an option used on concrete streets and involve completely removing a section of old concrete, then placing new concrete. This is the most expensive repair method and is used only where concrete material is absolutely necessary.

Even small concrete repairs can take up to a week to complete. Asphalt can also be used to make a wide variety of repairs on concrete streets with excellent results. Asphalt repairs cost are significantly less than the cost of concrete repairs.

The photos below are examples of what are not potholes:

Not a Pothole Photo 1

Not a Pothole Photo 2

Not a Pothole Photo 3

Not a Pothole Photo 4

Not a Pothole Photo 5

Not a Pothole Photo 6