How to report potholes in Seattle

Late-winter is unofficially ‘pothole season’

Crews repair a pothole by smoothing asphalt on Cherry Street in Seattle, WA.

Our tires are cringing just looking at this image.

Photo via SDOT

Hole-y moley. In his State of the City speech this week, one of the first things Mayor Bruce Harrell mentioned was that the city fixed 23,000 potholes in 2022, a 50% increase over 2021.

That sounds like a lot, but we also had tons of potholes to repair. And numbers may not mean much if you just jacked up your ride on one. Since we’re unofficially in pothole season, here’s how you can help crack down on those annoying lil’ road gremlins and maybe save someone’s tread.

Find ‘em 🔍

You won’t have trouble spotting potholes now. When temps go below freezing, like they did this week, the water from rain or melted snow expands into asphalt cracks as it turns to ice. Eventually, those cracks get bigger and loosen pavement, and create voids when the water melts again. Voila — you have a pothole.

Take note of where they are around your neighborhood or usual driving route.

Report ‘em ✏️

The Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) has a handy site where you can report a pothole via a short form. Crews try to respond to requests within three business days, but that can vary depending on the department’s workload and other complications.

Not every rough-looking piece of road is a pothole, FYI. Defects from sections of asphalt can cause other cracks and fissures. But you don’t need to be able to tell the difference — if you see something, say something. SDOT will take care of the rest.

Pro tip: You can also use the city’s Find It, Fix It App for pothole reporting and other service requests like streetlight outages.

Track ‘em 👀

True pothole nerds may love the interactive map that shows pending repairs, works in progress, and potholes that have been smoothed over within the last 90 days.

If you really have time on your hands, you can even go over the past year’s worth of pothole maintenance. Those suckers are everywhere.

More from SEAtoday