Pictured: Equipment operator Joe Saenz works on a backhoe along with crew members to repack a sinkhole that developed on Aransas and Eighth streets after heavy rains last week. The city has several crew members working throughout the city to repack the potholes. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Holes being repaired all over city

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

With nearly seven inches of rain in the city and county, sinkholes and potholes began developing as the soil shifted.

A heavy-machine operator with several city workers worked Thursday afternoon to refill a sinkhole that could have damaged vehicles on Aransas and Eighth streets.

"All of the caliche washed off because of the rain," said Joe Saenz, the machine operator who was excavating a sinkhole. "The rain has caused a lot of damage to the street."

The area around Aransas and Eighth Street was barricaded with crossbars and orange cones. Saenz said the city recently laid sewer pipes in the same area the caliche had softened and sunk.

The city crew dug out the caliche, refilled it and then covered it with an asphalt mixture.

Jose G. Valadez, city street superintendent, said he has several crews in different sections of the city to refill potholes.

"I break down (the crew members) in sections, some go to the south side, some go to the north and another crew in the northeast," Valadez said. "They do all of the main arteries."

Potholes in the main arteries city workers are concentrating on include north and south Texas Boulevard, Cameron Street, Reynolds Street, Third Street and Wright and King streets, Valadez said.

"If the potholes are more than six- to seven-inch deep, we use a mix to pack it," he said.

"Then we use an oil or asphalt that gets hard when it dries up."

The crews will work through the weekend, Valadez said.

On the west side of town on Guerra Street, drivers received a jolt as many potholes were filled with water and could not be seen.

"With all of this rain, the water messes up the streets and forms potholes," Valadez said.

"Lately we have been having a lot of rain."