Oakland street crews have filled an estimated 2,700 potholes over the past six weeks, city officials said Monday, announcing the start of a pothole repair blitz now that the winter storms have passed.

The announcement is the first in a series of events to make Oakland safer and cleaner. Events are occurring all this week, culminating with Earth Day on Saturday.

Many more potholes need to be filled and residents are encouraged to report them by calling 311.

“Dry, warm spring weather means we can finally tackle the backlog of pothole fixes to give all Oaklanders safer and smoother roads” Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said in a statement. “Our Department of Transportation workers have made progress addressing the backlog.”

City Councilmember Kevin Jenkins said potholes are a public safety issue.

“Filling the potholes now is a priority for me and my East Oakland constituents,” said Oakland City Councilmember Treva Reid in a statement. “In the long term, we’re investing in critical road repaving to make our city streets more resilient.”

“Filling the potholes now is a priority for me and my East Oakland constituents. In the long term, we’re investing in critical road repaving to make our city streets more resilient.”

Councilmember Treva Reid

A department spokesperson said the number of outstanding pothole repair requests was not immediately available Monday.

The pothole repair blitz was scheduled to begin in February or March, but winter storms delayed it, department of transportation officials said. It’s expected to continue into next month.

The wet winter caused more damage than the city typically sees.

Department of Transportation Director Fred Kelley said, “Our Pothole Blitz is focused on clearing the backlog of 311 road repair requests and will help all our communities, particularly those Communities of Concern where aging infrastructure is more susceptible to storm damage.”

The city is also paving roads, an effort that is based on a national model weighing streets conditions along with equity concerns.

The streets that the city plans to pave are shown in the 2022 5-Year Paving Plan.

Funding for paving is coming from Measure KK, a $600 million bond initiative which voters approved in 2016, and Measure U, a bond initiative approved by voters last year.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Pagransen. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Pagransen, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.