Ald. Rick Munoz takes pothole problem into his own hands

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There are many potholes that need to be patched around town, and Ald. Rick Munoz says the only way to fix the problem is to take matters into his own hands. (WLS)

Still feeling the effects of our brutal winter? You might if you drive.

There are many potholes that need to be patched around town, and one alderman says the only way to fix the problem is to take matters into his own hands.

Shovel in hand, the alderman digs deep. Another load of asphalt in the back of his car. Destination: 22nd Ward potholes.

"The bottom line is my neighbors are fed up, so we're taking matters into our own hands," said Ald. Rick Munoz of the 22nd Ward.

For the last couple days, Munoz and colleagues have been patching potholes because, the alderman says, the city has had the slows.

"This particular alley was reported over three months ago," he said.

With nearly 250 requests for pothole filling - some dating back to the top of summer - the alderman chose to wait no longer and has seized his own supply.

"There's a couple of construction projects in the neighborhood where asphalt is readily available and so we just re-appropriate it," he said. "Yes, we borrow."

It is city asphalt - piled for use in a big road and sewer reconstruction project nearby.

Munoz says he is not picking a fight with the city's grid system for street work. It's just that, he says, the system is not responsive.

But the Department of Transportation says it has filled over 6,300 potholes in Munoz's ward and with 750,000 citywide so far, that's not bad. Further, the city says the 22nd Ward has the fourth lowest number of potholes still on the to-do list. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel says to consider that this year, we've repaved a record 355 miles of streets.

"I don't know his idea, but we're gonna do what we need to do to make the streets -whether they're the main streets or our neighborhood streets - are passable for all the residents of the city of Chicago," Emanuel said.

"It is a stunt, OK, but the stunt is to make sure the DOT comes out here and fills these potholes," Munoz said.

He intends to keep patching, as long as there's city asphalt to "liberate," and so long as his wife doesn't object too strenuously to bits of asphalt in the family car.

Related Topics:
potholesChicago - North Lawndale
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