Freeze, thaw cycle means more potholes

Crews working to repair problem spots
March 9, 2009 3:00:00 PM PDT
Potholes are popping up all over Chicago area roads.The Department of Transportation said calls to report potholes are up. And with the freeze and thaw cycle ahead, it's only going to get worse.

Two weeks ago, the list was 5,000 potholes long. After the wet, warm weekend, the number has jumped by 2,000 to 7,000.

"It's awful. It's terrible. The city is by far worse than any city I've been to in the past five years," said Josh Colvin, driver.

"I've been stuck in traffic because people keep busting their tires on these potholes, trying to go around them, people beeping at you. It's hectic," said Jenny Maldanado, driver.

"They're very bad. They need to be fixed," said Lola Adams, driver

The city has sent 20 crews out to deal with the growing pothole problem. Thousands have been patched, but with the continuing rain, more are likely to pop up. Some potholes come back just days after they were patched.

"There are some locations where we've had to make repeat visits and those are locations that are typically the areas where you see heavy traffic volumes, upwards of 50, 60, even 70,000 cars on an average weekday," said Brian Steele, Chicago Dept. Of Trans.

A crater on Lake Shore Drive near Fullerton caused more than 15 flat tires over the weekend. Crews were called in to repair the pothole on Sunday.

It's not much better on a Lakeview street, where almost a dozen cars have blown tires.

"I've seen literally probably about 10 blown tires, you know, these rocks are like grenade launchers," said Fabian Parra, Cade El Tapatio.

Chicago residents can call 311 to report a pothole problem. Those calls are sent on to the Department of Transportation. Crews are then sent to the scene- and that pothole, as well as other potholes in the area are patched.

"We not only identify the location of potholes but to most effective schedule repair crews," said Steele.