Crews working hard on pothole problem

February 8, 2008 3:48:49 PM PST
Repair crews are scrambling to keep up with the demand to fix the pothole problem in the Chicago area. The damage from the road hazard is costing drivers hundreds of dollars, and the city of Chicago is offering to refund part of the repair costs. But, it could take drivers months to get their money.

In the mean time, Chicago area roads are now more like obstacle courses.

One of the biggest potholes is located on the Edens expressway. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has shutdown two southbound lanes just north of the Cicero Avenue exit to allow repairs to be made. The job could take two days.

Potholes seem to be everywhere in the Chicago area. And if you ask about the location of the worst pothole, you'll get a different answer from each person. Regardless of location, it will take crews a long time before they get the upper hand.

" It's pretty bad out here," one motorist said

"This is honestly the worst I have seen it," another driver told AB7 Chicago.

"I have been out here for 24 years. This is the worst it's ever been that I've ever seen," said a crew member who was patching up potholes.

There seem to be an extreme amount of potholes, laying waste to cars that drive over them.

"I hit a big pothole. And then, I heard a funny noise after that. I took the car to the tire shop and they told me the bad news after that," motorist Roger Jenkins said.

Jenkins had to pay $300 to get his rim welded back together.

Pothole repair crews are punching different numbers.

"On a typical day, we put down three or four tons of coal patch. Today, we've put down 16, and tomorrow we'll probably put down 20," said IDOT's Mike Spina.

The problem is the coal patches are temporary fixes until the potholes can be filled with asphalt in the spring. The weather's pattern of sub-zero temperatures and unseasonable warmth means that might not happen for months and crews could have to fix the same pothole multiple times.

"It's mother nature at her best," said Rick Williams of CDOT.

While some drivers have been lucky and have not sustained damage, those who have can file a claim to recover some of the repair costs. Each municipality has a different policy. (To learn more about filing a claim, click here).

In Chicago, Mayor Daley said a long-term solution would be to rebuild the roads. IDOT echoed that sentiment Friday saying that they are lobbying the state legislature to approve capital funding to fix more roads.