Columbia Finds New Way to Solve Pothole Problem

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COLUMBIA - As the weather warms up, Columbia drivers may notice more bumps along local roads. 

"I think potholes have definitely become a problem," said Columbia resident Daniel Leo.

Last winter's snowstorms caused more potholes than usual around the city. Erosion of roads and the special equipment Columbia had to use to clean snow of streets created more holes in pavement. 

The snowstorms also used a large portion of the city's street maintenance budget. Public works public information specialist Steven Sapp said the department doesn't know how much of the budget public works spent on the snowstorms, but he estimated it was more than in past years. 

"We've probably expended more funds this year from our street maintenance budget than we have in years past," said Sapp.

To help save money the department set up the "pothole posse," a way for citizens to report potholes to the city online or over the phone. Citizens can fill out a form on the public works website or call the department and let them know where problem areas are. Sapp said this will help save money and time because workers won't have to drive around the city looking for potholes themselves.

"One thing we are always looking for is better efficiency so we can be better stewards with our customers' money," Sapp said.

But not all Columbia residents agree this is an area where the city should try and save money. Some said if the city relies on residents to find potholes they may miss major problem areas.

"If you spend too little money you risk that the job won't be done and you'll end up having to spend more money," said Leo.

But Sapp said he's confident residents will help public works repair streets around the area.

To fill out a form click here, or call 573-874-7250.