Several potholes near Spring and West Hawthorne streets. Photo submitted by Brad Van Pelt.


Eureka residents love complaining about potholes. Visit any one of the local community groups on social media and you will surely find dozens – or more likely hundreds – of posts and comments about the potholes that plague our streets and the City of Eureka’s failure to get them fixed.

Team LoCO drives around Eureka quite a bit and, sure, there are potholes out there, but is it really that bad? Where are these car-swallowing craters we’re always hearing about? We decided to take matters into our own hands and ask Facebook. In the first hour, we had over 100 comments.

A few of our readers called out a section of N Street between 5th and 14th streets. Several others noted problem areas along Harris and Henderson streets. One playful individual sent us a picture of the drainage hole at the bottom of their terracotta pot. That’s not the kind of pothole we’re talking about, dude!

What is the City of Eureka doing to fix all of these potholes, you ask? Quite a lot actually! Since this most recent dry spell began, crews have laid down over 36 tons of asphalt on various city streets, according to Eureka City Manager Miles Slattery.

“Obviously, we’ve had a very, very rainy winter, and with rain comes road damage,” Slattery told the Outpost in a phone interview. “Up until now, our crews have only been able to go out and do a cold patch, which is basically just a bandaid that takes care of the problem for a short period of time while we wait for the rainy season to pass. … You have to use a hot mix of pavement to fix the potholes appropriately, and that requires good weather.”

If a road gets bad enough, crews have to go in and “completely grind and replace” the road, and that can only be done during dry months, Slattery said.

When asked how the city prioritizes road repairs, Slattery said crews usually try to address high-traffic areas first. 

“We prioritze our streets based on the amount of use, you know, the number of vehicles on the road and where the it is located,” he said. “Sometimes we have a location where patching isn’t gonna work, so we’ll put that on the list to be paved. We also try to address complaints as they come in, but we try to do it strategically so that the potholes we’re working on are in close proximity so we can have all of the hot mix and equipment in one place.”

In the years following the passage of Measure H, the voter-approved 1.25 percent sales tax for road repairs, the city has spent over $2.5 million to repave major corridors. “We’ve done more road work in the past three years than we had done on the previous 10,” Slattery said. 

The city has some big projects coming up this summer, including repaving along Harris Street, H Street south of Harris Street and Myrtle Avenue. The Eureka City Council is expected to discuss some other upcoming projects associated with its 2024 Capital Improvement Program during tonight’s regular meeting. 

“If people are interested in what streets are going to be paved in the next [fiscal] year, they should attend,” Slattery said.

Residents are also encouraged to contact the city with questions and concerns about potholes and other road-related issues. You can make an a report at this link or by calling the Public Works Department at 707-441-4194.