Chicago potholes prompt revamped street paving plan

Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to repave instead of repatch roads with potholes.
March 13, 2014 3:23:19 PM PDT
Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to repave 333 miles of roads in Chicago in 2014 instead of just patching potholes on some of the city's busiest streets.

The plan adds more than a dozen areas of the city to the roads that were already slated to be re-surfaced. The cost for all repaving in 2014 is an estimated $200 million. The city said corporate funding, TIF money and state funds will pay for the expanded repaving project.

"A newly paved road is less likely to have the type of pothole damage you see from an older road. I'd rather build new roads, pave new roads than just repair the past ," Mayor Emanuel said.

This season, the City of Chicago received three times the number of complaints over potholes compared to the last two winters.

On Monday, CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said crews will continue to fill potholes as they open, but will focus on "the city's major streets which are most heavily traveled" Monday through Friday. They'll follow a grid system, she said.

This winter's thawing and freezing cycle led to major pothole pitfalls in streets across the area. One stretch of Halsted from Lake Street to Chicago Avenue is littered with craters, which can cause a lot of damage to cars and cost a lot to repair. That part of Halsted Street is on the mayor's expanded re-pavement plan.

"The holes are huge. This has been a really bad winter," Mike Laschia said.

CDOT crews have filled 240,000 potholes already in 2014 and expect to fill 25,000 more in March.

"I've had to put my car in the shop twice and I had to have the lower control arm fixed because of the potholes," driver Tracey Morre- Beeler said. "It's terrible. This has been the worst winter ever on my car."

The re-paving project will get underway in spring and go into the fall.

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