Meanwhile, the Band-Aid approach to street maintenance--patching potholes--is not as easy as the public seems to think, Matteo said.
A typical crew consists of an asphalt worker, a rake man to level the ground, a barrel or roller worker to tamp it down and sometimes someone to direct traffic, Matteo said.
Half a Day's Work
"The public thinks we can repair one in minutes, but sometimes it could take half a day," Matteo said. "To correctly do a pothole, you have to cut it out, fill it in, tamp it down, and put a sealer on it. That's in dry weather. But in rainy weather we use what's called a cold patch, an asphalt material that hardens immediately and can be leveled by driving a truck tire over it. It's fast, but it's very, very temporary."
In the world of pothole repairs, there are two unchangeable axioms, Vecchione said.
"Water is asphalt's enemy, and there's always the possibility that you can have a perfect road one day and you can get 30 potholes the next day," he said. "Street repair is an ongoing problem."
As his next volley in the war on potholes, Vecchione said, he is contemplating an adopt-a-pothole program under which residents would donate money to help pay for street repair and, in return, their names would be inscribed on the street patches.
For those who prefer something for the family room wall, certificates would be issued, too.
WHERE TO CALL ABOUT POTHOLES
Here are phone numbers to call with a complaint about potholes on any street or freeway in Orange County. Caltrans has jurisdiction over the freeways, Imperial Highway, Ortega Highway, Brea Canyon Road and parts of Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway. Orange County is responsible for streets in unincorporated areas and some parts of Beach Boulevard, while cities oversee streets within their boundaries as well as the remainder of Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway.
Orange County 567-6300
Buena Park 521-9900, Ext. 266
Costa Mesa 754-5307
Fountain Valley 965-4493
Garden Grove 741-5375
Huntington Beach 848-0600
Laguna Beach 497-3311, Ext. 242
La Habra 526-2227, Ext. 792
La Palma 523-1140
Los Alamitos (213) 431-3538
Mission Viejo 582-8273
Newport Beach 644-3060
San Clemente 361-8317
San Juan Capistrano 493-1171,
Santa Ana 565-4006
Seal Beach (213) 431-2527, Ext. 218
Stanton 220-2220, Ext. 220
Tustin 544-8890, Ext. 240
Villa Park 998-1500
Yorba Linda 961-7170
All phone numbers are in 714 area code unless stated otherwise