The smartphone app and a particularly nasty pothole. Bache24 and a particularly nasty pothole.

Battling the potholes has gone high-tech

A smartphone app receives pothole reports, triggers brigade's response

Potholes are among the obstacles and hindrances that drivers in Mexico can expect in spite of million-peso road maintenance budgets in many states.

But that might change thanks to modern communications technologies.

Mexico City’s office of urban services has created a smartphone app dubbed Bache24 (bache is Spanish for pothole), that enables citizens to report new potholes to authorities.

According to director Jaime Slomianski, the mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices, has been downloaded 20,900 times.

During the program’s first week, 2,204 potholes on Mexico City’s main streets were reported and subsequently filled, while information about an additional 3,362 located on secondary roads, which do not come under the urban services office’s jurisdiction, was passed on to their respective borough offices.

The urban services offices has created 25 quick-response brigades to take care of the reports under its jurisdiction, enabling it to fill a pothole within 24 hours of its being reported.

The brigades use a two-stage approach — a cold process followed by a high-pressure one — to repair the fractures to the asphalt paving.

On the streets surrounding the capital’s Central de Abasto, the city’s main wholesale market for produce and other foodstuffs, 56 potholes were reported.

Market director Julio César Serna told the newspaper Milenio that the potholes were reported through the Bache24 app, and that within 24 hours they had been filled.

The Bache24 program represents a 190-million-peso (US $10.5 million) investment, explained Slomianski. However, of the city’s estimated 90,000 potholes, most are located on secondary streets.

Slomianski has asked borough administrations to heed citizens’ pothole reports made through Bache24 and make the necessary repairs.

Of the reports received during Bache24’s first week in operation, 900 corresponded to what the urban services office calls “false potholes,” or small sinkholes that require a different kind of operation but were repaired nonetheless.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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