Monday, May 20, 2024

A screen capture of the state’s pothole dashboard.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation made at least 8,500 pothole repairs to its roads in the past year, using approximately 412 tons of material, though only five of the repairs shown on its online pothole dashboard were in Cambridge.

The program began this year as a pilot in the central and western parts of the state, then expanded to include all six highway districts. The dashboard provides transparency to the public on the use of state resources, creates efficiency by introducing technology to frontline workers and adds to the data available for maintenance and capital planning, the department said.

In the past year, the pothole dashboard was also upgraded to indicate – with a checkmark – if a repair was made as a result of public feedback. Ten percent of the approximately 900 pothole repairs made since October have been in response to public feedback; in Cambridge, two of the five were.

“This innovative online resource provides clear information to members of the public on our repairs and investments and allows us to make better decisions on using resources to improve our roadways,” Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said in a press release. “We are committed to excellent customer service, and the pothole tracking program is a useful tool that enables us to engage the public, better monitor roadway conditions, plan upcoming maintenance and road repairs and ensure safer and more reliable travel.”

The department can use the data when making capital investment decisions to focus resources on roads and areas that require consistent pothole repair and manage its assets in a cost-effective manner that prevents emergency pothole repairs, Gulliver said.

Potholes can also be reported by calling (857) DOT-INFO, or (857) 368-4636; or (877) MA-DOT-GOV, which is also (877) 623-6846; or by contacting MassDOT online. Potholes can also be reported to the state or local police, who will contact the state with the report.

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.