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Nearly 49K Potholes Filled After Damaging Rainy Season, City Says

According to the transportation research nonprofit TRIP, potholes cost each San Diegan on average an extra $722 a year in maintenance and repairs to their cars

The mayor of San Diego is touting the success of pothole-filling team after a extraordinarily rainy winter season caused thousands of holes in roadways across the city.

The city of San Diego said Tuesday in one year, the city has repaired nearly 49,000 potholes. Crews typically fill 30,000 potholes a year but the number was exacerbated this year due to a wet winter. 

According to the city, when it rains, water seeps into the cracked surfaces of the road that, when combined with the vibration of tires, can cause the asphalt to disintegrate and potholes to form.

NBC 7 reported that within a rainy 30-day span from January to February about 4,573 pothole complaints were made to the city. 

In response, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced in March the city would triple the number of city crews dedicated to repairing potholes around town, bringing the number to 26 two-person crews targeting potholes daily, according to the city. The crews were scheduled to work extended hours and on weekends to smooth out roadways. 

And while Faulconer is touting the rapid repair of potholes throughout the city, it is not the whole story.

According to data obtained by NBC 7 Investigates, the city paid more than $500,000 to drivers in San Diego who’s cars were damaged after driving into potholes on city streets in 2017 and 2018.

Payouts range anywhere from $6,000 to as little as $69. Legal claims filed with the city show the city paid more than $250,000 in 2017. During the following year, the city paid $253,000 to fix damaged cars in San Diego.

According to the transportation research nonprofit TRIP, potholes cost each San Diegan on average an extra $722 a year in maintenance and repairs to their cars.

The city is asking San Diegans to help find potholes. Repair requests can be made through the city's Get-it-Done app.

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