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City of New Orleans nearing completion of potholed streets assessment

Going street by street, the City of New Orleans is close to wrapping up phase one of a comprehensive assessment of where the worst potholes are located. This comes as the non-profit Fix My Streets, attempts to bring national attention to the pain of New Orleans drivers.

April Delaune doesn't typically drive through Lakeview. “It's really dangerous I mean you can ruin a lot of cars,” she said.

Delaune is experiencing for the first time what a lot of residents have had to put up with for years. 

“I've already bottomed out my car, the steering came disconnected from a pothole,” Penny Curran explained.

“I think everybody kind of is fed up with it,” Jeff Januszek from Fix My Streets, said.

In the middle of the intersection of Louisville and Bragg Streets, one pothole is filled with overgrown weeds and bushes. People in the neighborhood have even adorned it with lawn ornaments and beads.

“I guess one good thing, it does slow people down because you can't really miss that thing,” Januszek commented.

The City of New Orleans is 95 percent complete with phase one of the initiative to map out which streets have the worst conditions. The Road Tester 3000 uses lasers, GPS and high definition imagery. Two other machines are 20 percent finished with their work.

Come fall, the city will use the data to prioritize which neighborhoods receive help first.

“We'll see how those repairs go, it's probably going to take two to three years for the two sections of Lakeview to be repaired, and we'll see what the results are,” resident Joe Simon said.

Of course Lakeview isn't the only area needing attention. 

“We've seen some gnarly potholes, I mean the 9th ward, Uptown, the West Bank,” Januszek said.

Fix My Streets' goal is to explore alternative sources of funding, to help the city speed up the project. The group is planning National Pothole Day, something Januszek believes, will start a conversation. 

“Across the country maybe there are some folks out there that have some awesome ideas,” he said.

It's the group's attempt at coming up with a long term solution while the city figures out how and when to deal with serious potholes that need quick attention.

The Road Tester 3000 began its work on city streets in December.

Meanwhile, National Pothole Day is scheduled for May 21, at which time Fix My Streets asks everyone to tweet, Instagram or Facebook pictures of the worst potholes they've encountered with the hash tag #NationalPotholeDay and the location of the city they're in.

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