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Drivers noticing more potholes. Here’s how to report them

If you are driving out and about, you might notice yourself swerving because of the many potholes on streets and highways. These are road incidents that tend to happen after storms.
Posted at 6:34 PM, Feb 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-27 22:34:21-05

When you are driving, you might find yourself swerving to avoid potholes more often. They tend to occur after storms.

“There were some spots on the [Cuesta] Grade southbound that had some potholes in it and some debris," said Jason Garcia, Paso Robles resident. "Down here [in San Luis Obispo] all of the surface streets and the high traffic areas are all pretty beat up.”

Marcony Galamay, who commutes from Santa Maria to San Luis Obispo, is scarred after the January storm.

“It was raining, I didn't really see the pothole I ran over, and I popped my tire,” Galamay recalled.

With the latest round of rain, you can expect to see even more potholes.

“From the constant driving and then water seeps into the imperfections of the roadway, so that's how a pothole is formed,” said Alexa Bertola, Caltrans District 5 Public Information Officer. “We usually see an uptick in requests for repairs [after a rain event].”

Keep an eye out, especially on Highway 101.

“Since January 9th up to today, we received nearly 20 requests for pothole repairs in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties along Highway 101,” Bertola added.

Highway 41 in San Luis Obispo County is another area of focus for Caltrans.

“We will resume pothole repairs out there from the [Cholame] Y all the way to the current county line,” Bertola said. “That will start up again on Thursday. ”

In San Luis Obispo, there is pavement damage in several spots: Los Osos Valley Road, Foothill Boulevard and Cabrillo Highway.

“[After] the January 9th storm, the city spent close to $1.5 million repairing pavement damage throughout the city,” said Greg Cruce, Deputy Director of Public Works for the City of San Luis Obispo. “It's standard for us once we get through a storm to transition to pothole and pavement repair from the damage that occurred during the storms.”

San Luis Obispo city officials say many of those potholes you are seeing during your commute are new.

“We go through pretty much all streets citywide after a storm, and we repair the worst first,” Cruce added. “We go through all of our pavement zones and making sure that we're getting all the potholes. Obviously, the bigger ones first. ”

While swerving is not recommended, drivers should take extra precautions.

“After a storm, it's always a good idea to be cautious for potholes or any other roadway hazards,” Cruce said. “City crews do get out and do their best to identify all this. ”

If you do encounter potholes or pavement damage, the City of San Luis Obispo is advising community members to download their Ask SLO app to report it. You can download it, here.

Caltrans District 5 said you can submit a customer service request through their website. To learn more, click here.