Potholes pop up all over city

City outlines pothole plans
December 30, 2008 5:23:05 AM PST
Cycles of freezing, thawing and re-freezing have littered Chicago's roadways with hundreds of potholes. There are plenty of potholes to try and avoid on area roads and they're popping up earlier this season.

In the city and on the expressways, crews can barely keep up with patching them.

The pothole problem couldn't possibly be any worse than last year right? Wrong.

On an average December day last year, or even last week, the Chicago Department of Transportation got only 300 pothole complaints.

On Monday morning, that number was at 1,100 and climbing - all courtesy of the crazy weather conditions we've experienced the last couple of weeks.

"They're absolutely out of control this year. There is a mile strip on Lake Shore Drive that is fine because it was just resurfaced, but the rest of the city is a war zone," said driver George Gomez.

And they really are everywhere, from Lake Street in the Loop to a really bad spot on Webster in Lincoln Park.

Potholes under viaducts are also a big concern. But the early pothole phenomenon isn't limited to city streets. The Eisenhower expressway has lots of them. There are many along a stretch just east of Cicero as well as the outbound lanes between Morgan and Ashland.

"Compared to last year it's marginally worse. But compared to other years it's significantly worse," said Marissa Kollias, IDOT spokesperson.

Still, despite being early and the severity of the problem, both city and state officials say they are ready and are already working to repair as many potholes as they can before the weather turns again.

"If the weather stays clear, the way it is today for the rest of the week, I'm very confident that the arterials will be covered, at least once by all our pothole crews by the end of the week," said Commissioner Thomas Byrne, Chicago Dept. of Transportation.

To that end, on Monday the city announced an agreement with the union which will allow it to have crews out seven days a week, while paying them regular time instead of overtime.

The state won't commit to having all potholes covered by the end of the week, but they do hope to have most of those on the interstate systems done by then. Smaller, suburban routes may have to wait just a bit longer.


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