We filled 15,000 Potholes in 2020 – and continue to fill more this year!


Summary:  

  • In 2020 we filled roughly 15,000 potholes, including nearly 1,600 potholes in West Seattle and nearby Duwamish Valley neighborhoods. 
  • Winter storms are hard on our roads and contribute to new potholes forming. Our crews have been hard at work filling potholes this winter and will continue to fill them as they are reported. 
  • Last year we responded to over 80% of customer service requests to fill potholes in three days or less.
  • If you see a pothole, report it on the report it on the FindIt FixIt App, submit an online report, email 684-ROAD@seattle.gov or call us at (206) 684-ROAD [7623].

It’s pothole season! Following the February snowstorms, we’ve already begun extensive work repairing roadways and filling potholes around the city. 

Filling potholes happens year-round, but we see a big influx of potholes after winter storms.  

Fact: It rains in Seattle. A lot. And all that rain causes lots of potholes. So we work hard to fill those potholes before they become a problem for cars, buses, bikes, and pedestrians.  Last year we filled roughly 15,000 potholes!

Diagram showing how a pothole could form.

Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures are also hard on our roads and contribute to potholes forming.  

Last month’s snow storm caused new potholes to popup (or down 😉) on streets across the city.  

Here’s a look at what happens: Water from rain or melted snow seep into existing cracks in the pavement. When the temperatures drop below freezing, the water freezes and expands as it turns into ice. As the ice expands, it pushes against the pavement, widening the cracks and loosening bits of pavement. Then, when the ice melts back into water and takes up less space, there are larger cracks and empty voids.  

Over time, vehicles pass over these cracks and force the already loose pavement free. A pothole can begin small but can widen or deepen depending on how many vehicles pass over the hole or if more water continues to fill in the hole. That’s why we fill potholes year-round as they form. But, since asphalt doesn’t bind well to pavement when it’s too cold or wet, potholes repaired in winter sometimes return in spring or summer and need to be repaired again.

Once this year’s snowstorm was over, our crews immediately got to work repairing damage, including filling potholes to make the roads safer (and more pleasant to drive and bike on).  

We’ve already filled nearly 1,000 potholes since the February snow storm! The number of potholes we’ve filled is still growing because reports of new ones arrive daily.


In 2020, we filled 1,600 potholes in the West Seattle and nearby Duwamish Valley neighborhoods. 

West Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods like South Park and Georgetown have been having a very challenging year. As we continue to help people traveling to and from West Seattle and work with nearby communities to prioritize projects that will reduce the impact of increased detour traffic, we’re also  focusing on filling potholes along the West Seattle Bridge detour routes which are carrying more cars than ever intended.    

After the recent snow, we prioritized filling potholes in this area before construction started on the 1st Ave Bridge (Also known as State Route 99 / State Route 509 Duwamish River Bridge) on March 5, 2021. As of February 28, 2021, we’ve already filled nearly 500 holes in West Seattle and the Duwamish Valley neighborhoods this year… and counting.  

Last year we responded to over 80% of customer service requests to fill potholes in three days or less.

When we receive these reports, our crews promptly go to the site and fill the holes. Even so, with the surge of reported holes we are getting in the wake of the snowstorm, it might take longer than three business days. We appreciate your patience over the next several weeks as we continue our work.  

And, if you’re curious about the progress we’re making day-to-day, check out our interactive pothole repair status map.

Map showing location of all recent pothols

We need your help! You can help identify any new potholes you see or encounter – that’s crucial to the work we do because we can’t fill a pothole that we don’t know exists. 

With that in mind, please report any potholes you find to us on the FindIt FixIt App, submit an online report, email 684-ROAD@seattle.gov or call us at (206) 684-ROAD [7623].

Not sure if it’s a pothole or other type of defect in the road? Report it anyways.  

Often we receive pothole reports that are actually for different kinds of problems in the pavement. Sometimes it’s a rough road that needs to be repaved or totally rebuilt from the base to the surface. Other times it’s a void or sink-hole, a crumbled street edge, or a long fissure or crack. These problems are more complex and can’t be fixed as quickly as a pothole.  

Checkout our Potholes FAQ to learn more about why a pothole you reported might not have been filled – likely it wasn’t actually classified as a pothole or it was on part of the roadway that we don’t maintain – like near railroads.