- Associated Press - Friday, February 10, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Four new pothole patching trucks are repairing Lincoln’s potholes at a much faster rate as part of the city’s aggressive street improvement program.

Mayor Chris Beutler said Thursday that efficient pothole repair is just one of the advancements gleaned from a state and local tax funding increase for city streets over the past few years, the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2lwMRxC ) reported.

Maintenance Manager Ty Barger said that before the patching trucks, Lincoln could fill about 4.4 potholes per employee per hour. Using trucks instead of shovels and hand tamps, the city is now filling 6.8 potholes per employee per hour.

Barger said the new patching material also lasts longer. Based on observation, he said, more than 90 percent of the new patches are staying in compared to the approximately 25 percent before.

City workers hope the street improvement program will result in fewer potholes this spring.

“We’re hearing less about potholes,” said Thomas Shafer, the city’s construction manager. He cited a lower number of pothole reports this month than a year ago.

In the past eight years, street funding has increased by 58 percent, with nearly $60 million spent on streets last fiscal year, according to city data. In those same eight years, Lincoln has improved 90 miles of arterial streets and more than 630 blocks of residential streets.

Beutler said his public works staff is optimistic about the progress and hopes “Lincoln residents can see the tremendous benefits.”

“Increased investment, new ideas and innovation are leading to better streets for Lincoln,” he said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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