Pothole Patrol: Socorro Roads

POSTED: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 6:15am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:23pm

Driving around Socorro, Newschannel 9 found a mess. Streets riddled with potholes. Some of them are big, a couple of feet wide and several inches deep.

"There are a lot of potholes all over the area and they mess up tires and stuff." says Jose Ulate, a Socorro resident.

Ulate says the problem is the streets can't withstand heavy traffic.

"Since there are a lot of big trucks that pass by, I guess that's the leading cause. Having those big trucks passing by and the pavement isn't strong enough to hold their weight." says Ulate.

Socorro Mayor Trini Lopez says that coupled with a lack of drainage, weakens the roads. He says the problem dates back more than 30 years.

"Developers came, cut the land, put some caliche on it and sold the lots." says Mayor Lopez.

Now, to prevent flooding, homes are built on a higher level, so when it rains, water washes down onto the street. Mayor Lopez says a full drainage system needs to be put in place, but that's too expensive.

"It will cost maybe Billions of dollars not only to do the infrastructure, but to treat water. It needs to be treated a certain way to comply with Texas regulations." says Lopez.

There is a cheaper alternative. The city cuts small slopes next to the street, to protect the pavement when it rains, but many residents don't like it.

With no chance for a proper drainage system right now, the Mayor says all the city can do is re-pave the streets. Millions of dollars have been set aside and a major project is already in the works.

Right now, the city is focusing on fixing heavily traveled streets, mainly those near schools. Their current project is expected to last the next two years, and even though several streets are slated for repair, the Mayor warns he can't please everybody.

"We have many, many miles of streets in Socorro and to fix them all in one or two years, would be impossible." says Lopez.

He is listening though. If there is a street you'd like repaired, Mayor Lopez says you can call him at 422-9107. He says he can't promise any quick fixes, but will do what he can to have it checked out.

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