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A pothole is a depression in a roadway that can range from a few inches wide and a few inches deep, to several feet wide and sometimes a foot deep. No one likes them; they seem to pop up by magic almost overnight.
Since potholes form in both gravel and paved roads it is not a simple matter of rain washing the material away, and since rain falls equal on the entire road the wearing effect should be equal over the whole surface. Another consideration is that potholes seem to appear in the spring. Furthermore, potholes can form in cold climates as well as hot climates only for different reasons. Potholes seem to be the result of several factors depending on where you live.
In colder climates:
• The freezing and thawing of the road surface lifts the road material up making cracks in the surface.
• Those cracks that formed then fill with water which freezes and expands the cracks wider.
• The thawing water washes the broken material out of the cracks
• Cars traveling the road hit the small cracks vibrating even more material loose from the area.
• As the holes continue to grow the bumping gets more severe, breaking more of the surface loose.
• As these breaks get wider the asphalt is able to rock loose leaving the pothole behind.
In warmer climates:
• Overtime as the sun heats up the asphalt it will start to dry out the oil and binders which hold the asphalt in place.
• Once the asphalt reaches a critical point of dryness it becomes less able to absorb shock from the cars traveling on the road or parking lot.
• Eventually the asphalt will form fine cracks, typically found in the drive path areas of roads and parking lots.
• When winter rains come, these cracks fill with water and begin to widen.
• Once the cracks are large enough the asphalt will pop out do to vibrations from vehicular traffic.
In either climate the pothole process is initiated by small breaks in the surface. Some are caused by freeze/thaw cycles and others are caused by asphalt drying out due to long term sun exposure. The potholes continue to form from exposure to rain, ice and traffic. After time the original material becomes loosened and eventually fails completely leaving behind the pothole.
The Street Division repairs over 2000 potholes per year using everything from a hot patch truck to cold patch asphalt and shovels. The Street Division's goal is to fix all potholes reported to us as soon as possible. Priority is given to potholes that may affect drivers, the rest are on a first come, first served basis. We know that we cannot find all the potholes in the City, so we rely on the public to report potholes when they see them.
To report a pothole, call (760) 373-7199 or use our Service Request Form.
It is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to maintain all public sidewalks in good repair. Click here for information regarding City of California City Sidewalk Repair Program.
Complaints regarding hazardous sidewalk
If you would like to register a complaint regarding an existing sidewalk that you consider hazardous, please use are Service Request Form.
Please provide the exact location of the hazardous sidewalk and it will be investigated as soon as possible. If the sidewalk is indeed hazardous, a notice will be sent to the property owner informing them of the complaint and reminding them of their responsibility for maintenance, repair, and replacement of hazardous walk.
Resurfacing and Slurry Sealing
Slurry Seal Coating consists of asphalt emulsion, sand and rock which is applied to the street surface at 3/8” thick. This cost effective maintenance treatment extends the life of streets already in good condition.
Asphalt Resurfacing consists of installing a brand new layer of asphalt on top of the existing street surface at a thickness of one to three inches. Streets are ground down (milled) at the curb line before resurfacing so asphalt will not build up at the edge of the gutter.
Street Sweeping provides two primary benefits to the City. The more obvious benefit is the collection and removal of paper, leaves, and other visible debris that collect in the gutters. This debris can block storm water facilities, causing localized flooding during heavy rains. An equally important, but less visible benefit is the removal of metal particles and other hazardous waste products left by passing vehicles. Although they are virtually invisible, these particles can be extremely harmful to fish and other wildlife if they reach our creeks and rivers. Street sweeping is an effective method of removing both the large and microscopic pollutants that collect on City streets. This sweeping also serves to control and improve water quality. Motorized sweeping removes much of the debris from the street before it goes into the storm drains.
The City of California City has over 200 storm drain structures and over 40 miles of drainage pipe and ditches. The Street Division is responsible for inspection, maintenance and repair of the storm drain system in the public right-of-way and in drainage easements. This includes clearing blocked drains, removing debris from storm drain structures, and cleaning and repairing damaged drainpipes.
Storm drains are designed to handle normal water flow, but occasionally during heavy rain, flooding will occur. Our goal is to limit the number of flooding incidents by keeping the drains clear with regular maintenance and cleaning.
To report a dead animal in the public right-of-way (within the City limits only) please call 760-373-1115 or use our Service Request Form.
When we are called regarding concrete spills, glass or debris in the street, nails, gravel spills, or any material that is a traffic hazard, we request that the reporting party inform us of the amount of the spill or hazard. For example, can we get it with shovels and a pick-up truck? Do we need a backhoe or a street sweeper? How large is the tree limb? All of this pertinent information will greatly assist us in removing the hazard in a timely manner. Also, if we are working in the roadway, a police officer is essential for traffic control.
Fallen Trees or Limbs
Trees or limbs within an area the City is responsible for should be referred to the Public Works Department and we will refer it to the proper department.
Alley grading is done to shape the surface within the City right of way to desired specifications. Alleys are maintained to accommodate access to properties, garbage pick-up, utilities and runoff. Several factors influence grading and maintaining alleys including access from streets, right of way width and location, adjoining properties and their structures, slope(s), utilities, and parent material.
The Street Division has embarked upon a program of concentrated grading within neighborhoods that address recurring problems in alleys. Our objective is fourfold; 1) provide a cross-slope that channels runoff onto one side of the alley that minimizes flooding onto lower elevation properties; 2) provide a uniform slope(s) to adjacent streets wherever possible; 3) provide adequate access to adjacent properties where possible; 4) provide a smooth durable surface within physical limitations.
Property owners are responsible for keeping alleyways clear of debris of any type, used appliances, grass cuttings, fire wood, garbage, etc., and overgrowth of trees and shrubs to allow for garbage pick-up, utility access, and alley maintenance.
A member of this department is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to emergency or nuisance calls, which are normally reported through the police department or our 24/7 emergency phone system. Examples of the calls to which we respond: material spills, fallen trees, ice and snow, potholes, dead animals, high water, missing stop signs, and catastrophic events. In addition, we mow/trim rights-of-way, and maintain storm drainage systems.
The Street Division installs and maintains the over 2000 traffic signs throughout the City. New street signs, including Stop, Yield and School signs, are ordered from commercial sign vendors who have the technical equipment required to cut aluminum panels and make the signs.
There are approximately 1500 street name signs within California City. The Street Division is in the process of converting the street name signs on primary and secondary roads to a larger, more tamper-resistant design with larger, more readable print.
The typical service life of a street name sign is between 15-20 years, at which time the signs are replaced due to sun fading. The signs are also replaced due to vandalism, traffic accidents and theft.
To report a problem call (760) 373-7199 or use our online Service Request Form.
Maintain the look of your yard by keeping the grass mowed below eight inches in height on private property and five inches in height in the right-of-way, which is typically the area between the curb and the sidewalk.
Keep the sidewalks and public right-of-way in front of your home in good condition and unobstructed for public use.
Be sure to place your trash and recycling curbside on the evening prior to pick-up. All empty trash cans and bins should be removed from the street by 7 p.m. on collection day.
Remember to obtain all required permits before beginning any home improvement project for more information on required permits; call the Building Department at (760) 373-7152.
Periodically, check the fence surrounding your property to make sure it's in good condition.
Inoperable vehicles may not be parked in the street or right-of-way at any time.
The exterior of your home is very important. To maintain its appearance, be sure to keep the exterior paint, windows and all permanent fixtures in good repair.
Maintain the appeal of your neighborhood by picking up any trash or debris.