- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2000

The District of Columbia Department of Public Works already has met its end-of-summer goal for repairing potholes and repaving streets, DPW officials said yesterday.
The public works agency has repaired about 200 blocks of streets and alleys, said Dan Tangherlini, DPW's acting transportation director, noting that the agency was tasked with repairing 150 blocks by the end of the month.
Mayor Anthony A. Williams set that mark as DPW's goal in April, when he released scorecards for his top administrators.
"We've put aside our [first] scorecard goals," said Mr. Tangherlini, adding that DPW officials told the administration to expand their goal. "We're going to try and push ourselves. We're shooting for the end of the month."
Despite the agency's success in resurfacing streets, its backlog of reported potholes remains high about 1,700. The unseasonably wet weather over the past few weeks has washed away much of the pothole-repair work, Mr. Tangherlini said.
"That's been a big problem for our streets in general," he said. "Traditionally, we have our rains in the spring, [but] we're still chasing potholes."
City residents have kept the agency's phones busy this summer, at one point reporting potholes as fast as road-repair crews could fill them, Mr. Tangherlini added.
Two months ago, the public works agency augmented its road crews with welfare-to-work program participants to increase its work force and attack its backlog of potholes.
The new pothole fillers participate in the city's Project Arise, which requires welfare recipients to supplement their public assistance with income from jobs.
The program, a product of the welfare-reform bill President Clinton signed into law in 1996, aims to have the welfare recipients eventually replace their assistance with income.
DPW recruited 24 such employees for 12 weeks of road work at $7.50 an hour for eight-hour days, and the department can request additional time from them, if needed.
The Department of Employment Services, which oversees the welfare-to-work program, is picking up the tab for the recipients' pay.
DPW officials said they would like to hire more welfare workers if enough experienced employees can be found to fill out more road crews.
DPW also has gone to cyberspace to inform residents about its two-year rehabilitation and construction plan for city streets. The agency's Web site (www.dpw.washingtondc.gov.) features maps, graphics and ward-by-ward plans, including streets and estimated start dates and completion schedules.
"It's a big move for us … informing people of where we're going to be in the next two years," Mr. Tangherlini said.
DPW's next scorecard goal will be completed later this month, when the last concrete lions will be restored on the Taft Memorial Bridge on Connecticut Avenue NW on Aug. 26.

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