If you live in Philly, you know for sure that the potholes around here are no joke in the city (and the suburbs).

Well, unfortunately, it sounds like we're about to enter one of the worst "pothole seasons" in recent memory in Philadelphia.

... That is saying a LOT because it's not like there is ever a "good" pothole season in Philly. 

So, of course, winter and spring tend to be known as "pothole season," right? So the calendar says it's time to buckle up anyway.

And if you've driven on Philly's roads recently, you've had to dodge your fair share of craters —- I mean potholes — in the roads.


Why Will the Potholes Be So Bad in Philly in Late Winter & Spring 2024?

You can absolutely blame the weather.

  • Factor 1 this year? The record-setting rainfall we've had since December.
  • Factor 2 this year? Our freeze-thaw cycle.

We'll explain more in a second, but lots of rain and this upcoming bout of arctic air are about to lead to more and more potholes in Philly's already poor roads.

We've had a TON of rain in Philadelphia, right? In December 2023, Philadelphia saw 7.92 inches of rain making it "among the top 10 wettest Decembers ever," (via Inquier.com).


And it hasn't gotten any better in January. And we've already seen AT LEAST 3.92" of rain in January, and the month isn't even actually half over. 

That rainwater can cause a breakdown in the bonds that form the asphalt. Other factors like poor drainage and lingering puddles can cause the road to soften, RockAsphalt.com says. As a result, traffic on top of that leads to damage to the roadway.


When temperatures drop below freezing water seeps into the cracks of the pavement and it leads to an expansion of the pavement. As it continually happens, the road deteriorates.

We're approaching a see-saw of weather with temperatures dipping below freezing regularly before spiking back up later this month.

Winter Storm Brings Snow And Sleet To Philadelphia
Getty Images

So, yes, that is kind of typical for winter around here, but following our record-setting rainfall, it's time to worry about the 2024 pothole season.

How Many Potholes Are On The Streets in Philly?

Harsh Winter Creates High Number Of Potholes On New York City's Roads
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In the City of Philadelphia, it's estimated that the City's streets department fills fewer than 30,000 potholes during a "good year," but that number can soar to as many as 50,000-70,000 some years, they say (reporting via PhillyMag.com)

That's JUST on city streets that are handled by the City of Philadelphia, by the way. Some others are handled by PennDOT. Click here to view a list of state-operated streets. 

In fact, in the year 2021, PhillyMag estimated that the City filled just over 40,000 potholes. PennDOT, however, does NOT keep track of how many potholes they fill.

How Do You Report Potholes in Philadelphia?

You can report a pothole in Philadelphia by calling 311 or submitting a request online by clicking here.



Unfortunately, even after one of those potholes is filled up, they tend to open back up quickly. After all, as all Philly drivers know, these things tend to open right back up year after year.

LOOK: Biggest snowfalls recorded in Pennsylvania history

Stacker compiled a list of the biggest 1-day snowfalls in Pennsylvania using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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