Arnold Schwarzenegger rebuked for filling LA pothole that was not a pothole

<span>Photograph: AP</span>
Photograph: AP

It was not one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most prominent roles, but is proving to be disproportionately controversial. The Hollywood star and former California governor filmed himself filling in a troublesome pothole near his Los Angeles home, proffering it as an act of civic responsibility by an exasperated resident. But he was then told by the authorities it wasn’t officially a pothole at all.

According to city officials, the “giant pothole” Schwarzenegger and a friend packed with quick-drying cement and topped with sand was actually an essential service trench for work being performed by a utility company in the Brentwood neighborhood.

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Instead of solving a problem, the actor who generated mayhem and destruction in his best-known role as the Terminator, was creating one with his rogue deed, with SoCal Gas, the natural gas utility, now having to reopen the trench to complete the contract.

Schwarzenegger, a former two-term Republican governor of California, posted a video of the pair laboring to his 5.1 million Twitter followers.

“Today, after the whole neighborhood has been upset about this giant pothole that’s been screwing up cars and bicycles for weeks, I went out with my team and fixed it. I always say, let’s not complain, let’s do something about it. Here you go,” he wrote.

In the clip, a driver stops to thank him for taking action, and the actor said: “You have to do it yourself. This is crazy. For three weeks I’ve been waiting for this hole to be closed.”

But in a statement to NBC News, Los Angeles city officials said they don’t want Schwarzenegger to live up to his most famous on-screen catchphrase of “I’ll be back”.

“This location is not a pothole,” a spokesperson said. “It’s a service trench that relates to active, permitted work being performed at the location by SoCal Gas, who expects the work to be completed by the end of May.

“As is the case with similar projects impacting city streets, SoCal Gas will be required to repair the area once their work is completed.”

A representative for Schwarzenegger did not return a request for comment, NBC said.

Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, is not the first celebrity to become upset by a pothole and take action. In March last year, singer Rod Stewart posted videos of himself filling in holes near his estate in the Essex town of Harlow, after complaining his Ferrari couldn’t get through.