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Senator slams mayor on potholes, city plans another 'blitz'

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- The chorus of pothole complaints from Indianapolis drivers is only growing louder.

City leaders said Tuesday they are planning another pothole patching blitz for next week and they plan to aggressively resurface streets in the spring. The city's number of open pothole repair requests across Indy has jumped from 500 to 5,800 since Jan. 8.

The complaints are multiplying too.

"They're ridiculous," resident Linda Noel said. "Please fix them."

Mayor Joe Hogsett's staff said the mayor and his chief of staff were both unavailable for an interview Tuesday. The staff directed 24-Hour News 8 to the city's Department of Public Works.

DPW Director Dan Parker said the city plans to invest about $373 million in transportation capital improvement projects between now and 2021.

"This problem has accumulated over 50 years," Parker said. "We're not going to get out of this problem overnight."

Parker said it would take about $400 million to fix the city's main throroughfares and $700 million to fix all streets.

"We're pretty hamstrung in how we can get dollars to do that," Parker said.

State Senator and Marion County Republican Chairman Jim Merritt released a statement Tuesday calling the pothole problem "shameful" and calling Hogsett "Pothole Joe."

"What is your plan?" Merritt asked in an interview with 24-Hour News 8. "The state of Indiana has allotted $50 million for streets in Marion County and it hasn't been spent."

"To say that we're sitting on $50 million is just not accurate," Parker said.

According to Parker, the state money is included in the city's $373 million plan and the city plans to use it over the next four years.

"The chuckholes are unacceptable," Parker said. "We know that."

Parker said the city has a list of which roads will be rebuilt and resurfaced this spring and he plans to send it to 24-Hour News 8. The list will be posted on wishtv.com once it's received.


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