New tech lets drivers report potholes on smartphones

Crews in Westfield fill potholes along 169th street. (WISH Photo)

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – With the hope that winter is officially behind us, the people who spent the cold months plowing streets can now focus on fixing potholes. Now the city of Westfield has a more efficient way of doing so.

Potholes don’t just feel bad, they’re an eyesore. That would make the guys who fix them up a sight for sore eyes.

“We appreciate it, that’s for sure,” said Bonnie Angell-Lingle. She got a front row seat as Westfield Department of Public Works crews filled potholes right outside her home on 169th Street.

“It’s good that they’re patching them and keeping up on top of it,” she said.

The city already knew that stretch of 169th needed some help but keeping up with every new pothole that rears its head isn’t easy.

“Now we’ve got a whole new way to go about how do we know where to go,” said Mayor Andy Cook.

It’s through the city’s “WeConnect” system. People can report a pothole using a computer or their smart phone. But instead of it going to some database, it goes straight to the workers out on the street.

“They can even put the detail as far as how deep it is, the severity to determine whether we need to get out there that day, if it can wait until we’re in that quadrant,” said Travis Stetnish, Westfield Street Superintendent. “It would just be more eyes.”

When using WeConnect to report a pothole, GPS can help pinpoint the exact location. People are asked to enter contact information, that way they can be notified when the pothole is taken care of which usually takes about three days. Stetnish said though that if a pothole is so big it’s popping tires and posing a danger that his crews could get it filled that day. That’s why he’s asking people to give detailed descriptions.

“Our crews know I’m kind of a nut about our streets and about the holes in our streets and the sooner we can get to this, weather permitting, the better,” said Mayor Cook.

“If they can get to them in the same day that would be excellent service,” added Angell-Lingle.

To report a pothole using WeConnect, click here!

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