Milwaukee leaders call for plan to fix pothole 'epidemic'

NOW: Milwaukee leaders call for plan to fix pothole ’epidemic’

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Pothole season is here.

Some Milwaukee leaders say the roads are especially bad this year, calling it an "epidemic of potholes."

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is being asked to testify and present a timely plan to fix the roads before the Public Works Committee on Wednesday morning.

Lamar Guard, a two-time victim of potholes so far this year, told CBS 58 he spent hundreds of dollars to fix his car after it was damaged by a pothole Tuesday morning. 

"The streets are just so torn up. You can't dodge them even if you try," Guard said.

Dwight Cobb with Two Brothers Automotive in Milwaukee said he sees more and more pothole victims every year.

"They don't know the damage until they bring them here," Cobb said. "Some of the rims is cracked. Some of the rims is busted. Some of the rims are bent."

Alderman Robert Bauman said he's seen enough.

"The situation is out of control," Bauman said.

A DPW spokesperson told CBS 58 the increase in potholes is caused by continuous freeze/thaw cycles. 

"The response time on addressing potholes has generally been delayed since late February due to the unusually high number of requests this year," DPW spokesperson Brian DeNeve said in a statement.

DPW is asking for patience as crews work to fill in the gaps.

If a driver's car is damaged in the meantime, the city doesn't have to pay to fix it.

Drivers can submit damage claims to the city, but it's nearly impossible to prove them as negligent.

"It's extremely rare for one to ever be granted at the council level," Bauman said.

While aldermen like Bauman can pass along resident complaints to DPW, he said there's not much they can do to speed up the pothole filling process.

Anyone can report potholes on the MKE Action app online or by calling 414-286-CITY. 

The committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26 at 9 a.m.

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