pothole crew 4_30_14

Fairfield road crew members Joshua Costan, center, and Rick Joiner, right, resurface a section of a cul-de-sac on Heron Court, in Fairfield Wednesday. Fairfield recently re-launched the road crew, dedicated specifically to potholes, as a result of the Measure-P sales tax initiative, which passed in November 2012. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


Fairfield launches pothole repair crew

By From page A1 | May 03, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield’s new, four-person road crew came to Heron Court to get rid of some potholes, a sight that had become rare in recent years but should soon be commonplace.

“This is like Christmas,” said Patrice Batts, who lives in the cul-de-sac.

Batts had put up with a pothole in front of her house for five years. She’s had to drive very slowly in and out of her driveway to minimize the jarring. The pothole grew to be several feet wide and look like a crater with loose rock on top.

Her 3-year-old son fell on another rough patch in the street while using a toy in the cul-de-sac. Batts said he had to go to the hospital emergency room.

Batts has had plenty of company in facing potholes. Older, residential neighborhoods throughout the city have seen potholes go unrepaired for the past few years.

Fairfield faced major budget problems in the wake of the Great Recession. Survival, not potholes, was the big topic at City Council meetings. The city decided to use dwindling public works money to maintain only the streets that handled the most traffic, not lightly traveled residential streets such as Heron Court.

City voters in November 2012 passed Measure P, a 1 percent sales tax increase to stabilize the city budget. Potholes once again became a problem to solve, not put up with.

Fairfield launched its four-person street spot repair crew in March. The city is doing the very worst potholes first, progressively stemming the tide, Public Works Director George Hicks said.

“That’s a continuous, ongoing operation for the older, core area,” Hicks said.

The repair crew will have plenty to keep it busy.

“We have about 350 to 400 of these around town,” city Streets and Utilities Manager George Shimboff said as he stood near the Heron Court potholes.

Also this summer, Fairfield will do $2.8 million worth of seal coating in Cordelia Villages, Green Valley Estates and Rancho Solano. Rancho Solano will pay for the work done on the private streets.

Putting a seal coat on a street is like painting a house, Hicks said. This thin asphalt emulsion treatment wards off weathering and deterioration.

“It will look like new, in terms of surface,” Hicks said.

Maintaining Fairfield roads at ideal levels would cost $13 million annually. The city in recent years spent $1 million to $2 million annually, Hicks said. Measure P will provide an additional $7 million over its five-year life for street maintenance.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 11 comments

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  • FredMay 02, 2014 - 11:20 pm

    Nice...Can't wait till they get to my street...They have there work cut out for them...

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  • Mr. PracticalMay 03, 2014 - 5:18 am

    Fred, it might be cheaper if they bought you an ATV.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FredMay 03, 2014 - 9:20 am

    Make that a new BMW X4 SUV and we can talk...Lost a car, my wife & my dog in one of the potholes in my street...Miss that dog :( ...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMay 03, 2014 - 11:00 am

    Fred, $63,400 loaded. Sorry to hear about the dog. Hope you are well!

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  • Mr. PracticalMay 03, 2014 - 1:14 pm

    I would get it loaded. Apparently turn signals are an option on BMWs.

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  • DELLA REESE - BUT BEAUTIFUL U R! When can we see more pictures of your pants?May 03, 2014 - 1:36 pm


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  • Malcom Holcombe "One Leg At A Time"May 03, 2014 - 2:19 pm


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  • BMW - Sexy, funny and creative adMay 03, 2014 - 2:14 pm


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  • Kimya Dawson - Caving InMay 03, 2014 - 2:34 pm


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  • "Standing In The Safety Zone" - Albertina WalkerMay 03, 2014 - 2:52 pm


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  • Rick WoodMay 03, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    Very good that the City didn't use all the Measure P funds for "public safety" defined as police and fire. Here you see a good example of how well maintained public works are needed for public safety too.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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