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Tampa unveils hotline for potholes and other street problems

Mayor Jane Castor says she hopes a dedicated phone number and website will help keep the city’s streets in tip-top shape.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor wants to be certain all street repairs are completed within three days.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor wants to be certain all street repairs are completed within three days. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Sep. 14

TAMPA — Standing in the middle of a South Tampa intersection Tuesday, Mayor Jane Castor pledged to fix potholes and other street issues like fallen tree limbs within 72 hours.

The city already fixes potholes, on average, within 40 hours of being notified, but Castor told reporters at a news conference that she wanted to be certain all repairs were completed within three days.

“We are committed to making our roads safe and maintaining them to the best of our ability,” Castor said after work crews filled a pothole for the benefit of television crews at West El Prado Boulevard and South Omar Avenue.

The city receives about 13 calls a day about its streets, said Jean Duncan, the city’s infrastructure administrator. Potholes and other annoyances of daily driving were a top issue of concern in a recent survey of residents, she said.

To answer those concerns, the city unveiled its Fix-it-Fast program where people can report problems. The website is https://www.tampa.gov/fix. The city’s call center is also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 813-274-FAST (3278).

The initiative is intended as a stop-gap until the city can create a 311 calling system, Duncan said.

Castor’s reorganization of city departments in 2019 created better efficiencies and improved communication among those departments responsible for street maintenance, Duncan said.

Streamlining government, Castor said, is a pillar of her “Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow” plan.

“It’s that idea of efficiency,” she said.

The city maintains 1,160 miles of asphalt roadways and repairs an average of 7,000 potholes a year, according to a release.