Tumblr’s Storyboard spent a day with one of New York City’s pothole crews — the people who make it possible for cars to drive on city streets without getting destroyed, despite the huge amount of wear and tear the roads suffer. In one year, pothole crews might repair more than 200,000 potholes across New York City.
In the morning, the crew looks at its daily pothole spreadsheet and sets out to find and destroy these menaces. If they don’t get to the potholes today, they stay on the list. “We’ll get those potholes,” says Richard Cicale, the director of street maintenance in Manhattan.
Every day, the crew drives to an asphalt plant in Brooklyn and loads up three tons of hot asphalt in a “hot box.” Then they drive around, sweeping out potholes, pouring in asphalt cement, and then shoveling on hot asphalt. It’s pretty intense — but it’s what needs to happen for trucks to truck food into the city, buses to bring commuters to work, and drivers as a group to suffer slightly less as they’re sitting in gridlock.
A Day with New York City’s Pothole Repair Crew, Storyboard.