Photography courtesy of Matthew Tamez

University spending $49,000 to study pothole causes

March 20, 2019

Students, faculty and staff have no doubt encountered some of the deep potholes that have formed on campus at TAMU-CC. Places such as the Hammerhead parking lot, Sanddollar parking lot, Tarpon parking lot and Seabreeze parking lot have seen a large number of potholes. This is a concern since motorists can cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage to their vehicles by hitting a pothole.

According to Dr. John Dawson, the Associate Vice President of Operations, the university is working to fix the potholes on campus and hopefully ensure no other potholes form.

“We have engaged the services of an engineering firm, …” said Dawson, “that is doing a four-phase engineering study analysis of our parking lots and drainage. …”

One of the many potholes surrounding the parking lots of TAMUCC.

The university is spending about $49,000 dollars on the study to find out why the potholes are occurring to better understand how to patch them.

“Potholes don’t just happen,” said Dawson. “It’s either because of certain things with the material that was used or there is a subsurface condition that allows potholes to occur. And so realizing that, that’s the reason we engaged this engineering firm that will be going through and doing some … basically drilling into the surface and subsurface to find out what’s causing it. Based on that, we will be able to schedule a repair plan.”

Students are becoming increasingly concerned with the potholes on campus and have been questioning the use of university funding.

“It’s kind of irritating how they spend all this money putting up all these buildings,” said Michela May, senior Communication Studies major, “… yet they can’t fix the already existing problems.”

There’s a reason for that. The funding for the university’s building construction cannot be used for the lots. They are separate funds with the Permanent University Fund accounting for the building budget.

The cost of filing a pothole is about $200 for the university.

“For potholes in particular, …” said Dawson, “that is the fee that you pay for parking permits. That’s where that money comes from. So you’re paying for parking but that also takes care of the road, as well.”

The university will be starting with Tarpon parking lot, Sanddollar parking lot, Wave Crest Drive, Hardhead Lane, Curlew parking lot, Classroom East parking lot and Curlew Drive.

“Hopefully, we will be able to have those folks working this summer to do that engineering study,” said Dawson. “… When they start drilling holes, that also means they have to close portions of the parking lot. Instead of trying to do it during the semester when students are here and needing those parking spaces, it’s better to wait to do that kind of work during the summer.”

Students in the meantime should exercise caution when driving through the lots so as to avoid any costly accidents.

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