23K potholes filled in Seattle last year; December ice storm damage keeping crews busy

SEATTLE — There were more potholes in Seattle than usual last year, with the Seattle Department of Transportation filling 23,000, the highest number in the last five years and 50% more than in 2021, according to SDOT.

SDOT officials say while most potholes are filled 72 hours after they’re reported, that may not be possible following winter storms when crews deal with a spike in new potholes all at once.

That continues to be the case right now and over the last few weeks after December’s ice storm damaged streets. So far this year, SDOT says crews have already filled 5,500 potholes, including as many as 500 in a day.

To deal with the damage, SDOT has increased the size of its pothole response team. This year, crews have also been patrolling snow plow routes in the city looking for new potholes. The routes are more susceptible to developing potholes because more heavy vehicles travel them during winter storms.

New potholes continue to appear months after a storm as traffic drives over damaged pavement. In addition, SDOT said repairs made in winter don’t last forever because the asphalt used doesn’t adhere to the surrounding pavement as well during cold weather.

Because potholes are a never-ending battle, and SDOT cannot fix potholes they aren’t aware of, the public is asked to help by using the Find It, Fix It App, using this form, emailing 684-ROAD@seattle.gov or calling 206-684-ROAD(7623).