Warren mayor pledges ‘all out’ effort to battle potholes

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published March 5, 2014

 From left, City of Warren general maintenance specialists Robert Konkolesky and Scott Raedel applied a mix of tar and crushed rock to fill potholes on Sherwood Ave. south of 11 Mile Feb. 26.

From left, City of Warren general maintenance specialists Robert Konkolesky and Scott Raedel applied a mix of tar and crushed rock to fill potholes on Sherwood Ave. south of 11 Mile Feb. 26.

Photo by Brian C. Louwers

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WARREN — Despite a clear blue sky and a fleeting blast of February sunshine, the cold and crumbly surface of Sherwood Avenue looked more like the moon than a road in Warren.

The shattered street, yet another pockmarked menace for unfortunate drivers dodging bone-jarring potholes this winter, was just one of the stretches where Warren Department of Public Works crews focused their attention on Feb. 26.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts recently announced an “all out” pothole-fixing effort targeting city streets. He asked citizens to report potholes by calling (586) 574-4584 and also said crews would “work until sundown” to beat back the pothole scourge with about the only thing that works this time of year: a sticky mix of tar and gravel.

“I’ve been fielding calls, weather-related, most nights until about 10 p.m. at night,” Fouts said. “We’re making an effort, a concentrated effort with crews, with overtime and with trained people, to go out and take care of this problem. It’s very challenging. We have the snow and the freeze and the thaw. It’s overwhelming.”

Fouts said the city hotline took in about 200 calls Feb. 25, but he said many of the reported potholes were on roads maintained by the county.

Warren is responsible for residential streets, including the “half mile” roads; a small portion of 11 Mile Road just east of Dequindre; Nine Mile and 13 Mile roads; and Ryan, Hoover and the northbound lanes of Dequindre.

Macomb County is responsible for maintaining Eight Mile, 10 Mile, 12 Mile and 14 Mile roads, along with Van Dyke, Schoenherr, Mound and Groesbeck.

Deputy Public Service Director Gus Ghanam said Warren crews applied more than 150 tons of repair material in February. The city maintains 413 miles of roadway.

“That’s three train loads of patch in the last three weeks,” Ghanam said. “I estimate we’ll be getting a fourth load very shortly.”

Ghanam said crews have been working 12-hour shifts to keep up with the needed repairs.

Fouts said he allocated $500,000 for the effort. The cash was earmarked for road repairs through the city’s streets millage, approved by Warren voters in November 2011.

To report a pothole on a residential street or a main road maintained by the city of Warren, call (586) 574-4584.

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