This is How LA’s Potholes Get Fixed

The hot, dirty, and tiring work of making LA's streets safe. Well, safer.

By 9:30 in the morning, the Koreatown pavement has hit 106 degrees. It’s all alligator cracks. Shear lines and potholes—big ones, by LA standards. And by 11:00 am, two fit young men with strong forearms and deeply tanned faces will have fixed all those potholes. They’ll have descended upon it from a big city truck in safety yellow and hard hats, coned off their turf, and used specialized tools to shovel asphalt, rake it out, beat it flat, and seal it against wet weather on a summer day when rain seems impossible. They’ll repeat the process over and over, and when they finish, a road that needs replacement will have had its life extended. It will be safer for cars and bikes and pedestrians alike. And then they’ll break for lunch as the pavement tops 142 degrees before starting all over again, on another beat-to-hell patch of Los Angeles road.