To report a pothole, call 311, or submit a service request online. We will respond and repair any pothole that is our responsibility within 48 hours during week days. An action plan will be developed for projects that require more than 48 hours to address. Before you call, please determine the street address and the nearest cross-street where the pothole is located.
What happens after I call?
If the repair is the responsibility of another agency, we will notify that agency. If it is our responsibility, our street repair crew will pave over the pothole.
Pothole repair is an ongoing operation of Public Works' street and sewer repair program. Repairs include the patching of potholes, depressions, bumps, and other defects on city streets. Sometimes other agencies, such as the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission or private utility companies, are responsible for repairing potholes and other street defects resulting from inadequately restored utility cuts.
What causes potholes?
- Traffic: Traffic that is too heavy for the pavement's design can cause cracks in the street. The combination of increased traffic and the natural aging of pavements result in potholes.
- Water: When water seeps into the base of the pavement through cracks in the surface it can soften the base. Over a period of time the base material will shift to the side leaving nothing to support the pavement above it. Heavy vehicles can cause the pavement to weaken further and ultimately cave in.
- Bad construction: Cracks can be caused by faulty construction or inadequately restored utility cuts.
- Damaged sewers: There are more than 900 miles of sewer in San Francisco. A substantial number are more than 100 years old. Many potholes in San Francisco are caused by an aging infrastructure that results in failed sewer.