Potholes plague campus

Ron, a City of Tucson employee, fills a pothole on North Park Avenue Thursday afternoon. There are more than 20 roads that are awaiting repair by Facilities Management.

Ron, a City of Tucson employee, fills a pothole on North Park Avenue Thursday afternoon. There are more than 20 roads that are awaiting repair by Facilities Management.

Jake Hanes

It’s a seasonal problem that plagues Tucson’s streets ð- monsoon rains tear through the city, leaving the roads pockmarked with holes and cracks.

Certain stretches of streets around campus are in especially bad shape, a problem that Facilities Management, the department in charge of repairing roads on campus, is working aggressively to remedy, said Chris Kopach, associate director of Facilities Management.

Kopach said Facilities Management has spent more than $500,000 within the last fiscal year to repair the roads.

Facilites Management is in charge of maintaining 26 miles of asphalt on the UA campus, said Kopach.

However, the City of Tucson must take care of some of the bordering roads.

Designation of a road depends on percentage of university traffic on the road.

Kopach said the city-controlled intersection of North Cherry Avenue and East Speedway Boulevard is a “”historical problem,”” and they have been working aggressively with the city to report problems.

Alyssa Danloe, a religious studies junior who parks in the Highland Avenue Parking Garage, called the Cherry/Speedway intersection terrible.

“”It would be nice if the university could use more money to maintain roads, instead of building things like the Alumni Plaza, for example,”” Danloe said.

But Facilites Management offers a program that lets people report potholes and sends a crew out within 24 hours to respond, Kopach said.

Lauren Leichter, a history freshman, said she didn’t know about the program, but she is tired of bouncing through potholes around campus.

“”I have a really low car, so I worry about scraping the bottom when I drive through them,”” Leichter said.

Even though patching cracks and holes usually only lasts until the next big rain, it is often the only cost-effective fix, given Facilities Management’s limited budget.

Facilites Management receives funding from the state government, and Kopach said he is working hard to secure the remaining $2.1 million needed to complete the ongoing road repairs.

Kopach said the only feasible alternative to patching is to mill the road, essentially scraping up the old surface and re-laying a new one, a costly process.

Still, Kopach said he is pleased with recently completed renovations, such as the re-surfacing of University Boulevard from Park Avenue to Old Main.

“”I think the maintenance is fine even though there is a lot of construction going on around campus,”” said Chrisselda Leal, a pre-nursing junior who parks in several different garages on campus.

There are about 20 roads waiting in line to be renovated, including the stretch of North Tyndall Avenue from East Sixth Street to University Boulevard.