Greater City Providence

Photo: Pothole Filling

City crews are out filling potholes in the Jewelry District this morning.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • it’s funny that this picture was taken right outside of my building, but when i look out my window i still see at least 15 potholes.

  • Indeed, I was just looking out the window again because the building stopped shaking, and I thought, “Where’d they go?” It is lunch time, maybe they’ll be back…

  • I think the state is fixing to tear out Chestnut Street between Clifford and Friendship for highway removal. The road is marked where they’ll remove it, and the utilities are all marked. So I wouldn’t expect any potholes to be filled there as the street is being rebuilt soon. But there are still holes between Clifford and Bassett that need filling.

    Or, we could just go ahead and remove the pavement and expose the pavers.

  • I assume this will be the standard Rhode Island “throw some asphalt in the hole and step on it a couple of times” pothole repair method.

  • I hear Empire will be repaved entirely soon, which is really thrilling for this bike commuter.

  • I’m not sure where the schedule stands, but yes, Empire will be repaved as part of turning it into a two-way street. Currently, Empire is a dirt road.

  • Well, it is a city street and I don’t think a private construction company is doing it out of the kindness of their heart. Could be a state contractor related to the Iway… maybe.

  • I’ve noted a number of potholes being filled on Federal Hill too. It’s usually city crews doing it but good that they’re doing so.

  • The worker in the picture is using a vibrating sled. The City rarely uses this type of equipment for pothole filling. I would guess its Iway related (it looks like its adjacent to a work zone) or it could be a road cut.

    When private contractors (this includes Providence Water and National Grid) open up the street they can use a temporary patch to fill in but must return the street to its original condition within six months. Anyone who got their lead pipes replaced by Providence Water has seen the temporary patches replaced with saw cut patches that better match the existing roadway. The contractor is also responsible for maintaining that new section of pavement for five years. If it sinks or develops potholes the contractor can be called back to fix it. This is something the City should become much more aggressive at doing.

    Like Tony P, I see the potholes getting filled on the East Side. I just don’t think this is a picture of them doing it.

  • Press release from the Mayor’s Office:

    March 8, 2011


    City takes aggressive action to address the impact of severe weather on city streets

    PROVIDENCE – Mayor Angel Taveras and the Providence Department of Public Works are executing an aggressive program to systematically repair potholes throughout the City of Providence.

    A combination of extremely cold weather, several severe winter storms, and below-freezing nights with above-freezing temperatures in daytime, has made this year’s “pothole season” especially bad and made combating potholes especially challenging.

    Work crews from the Department of Public Works and the Parks Department are working to repair potholes throughout Providence. The trucks are equipped with hot asphalt to make more permanent repairs to roadways as the weather warms.

    The DPW is systematically repairing potholes throughout Providence based on daily surveys of roadways throughout the city, in conjunction with individual reports about potholes from residents to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

    In recent weeks, work crews have repaired potholes on the following streets: Valley Street, Manton Avenue, Prairie Avenue, Branch Avenue, Admiral Street, Douglas Avenue, Charles Street, Fountain Street, Empire Street, Academy Avenue, Orms Street, Taber Avenue, Gano Street, Waterman Street, Angell Street, Plainfield Street, Potters Avenue, Huntington Avenue, Harris Avenue, Fruit Hill Avenue, Oakland Avenue, Spruce Street, Knight Street, Eagle Street, Canal Street, Sandringham Avenue, Corliss Street, Industrial Drive, Fillmore Street, Glenbridge Avenue and De Pasquale Avenue.

    Work crews are scheduled to continue repairing potholes on all main roads in the city before working their way to secondary roads. On Friday, work crews repaired potholes on the streets surrounding the Providence Train Station in order to facilitate traffic flow at the City’s regional train hub.

    Permanent repairs cannot be made until the weather warms and the freeze-thaw cycle becomes less of a concern. When the temperature drops below freezing, rainwater and melted snow on the roadway expands as ice in any fissure, opening a crack that will take on more water when the temperature rises. This cycle of freezing and thawing creates potholes quickly.

    Potholes also develop when water seeps under the road surface, freezes and forces the surface up, and then melts again – leaving pockets of air that cars and trucks eventually break into, creating more damage.

    “Potholes are a serious concern and I will continue to do everything possible to make our streets safe and passable. This winter’s severe weather has been especially hard on our roadways, and we are moving forward with an aggressive and systematic plan to fix potholes in every neighborhood of Providence,” said Mayor Taveras.

    Citizens are encouraged to report potholes to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services at 401-421-7768, or directly via the City of Providence’s website. These reports are valuable in assisting the City to improve road conditions in a timely manner.

Providence, RI
Mostly Cloudy
5:28 am8:15 pm EDT
Feels like: 73°F
Wind: 6mph SW
Humidity: 73%
Pressure: 30.02"Hg
UV index: 0
88°F / 66°F
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77°F / 68°F