Mayor orders city crews to focus on Chicago's potholes

The mayor has ordered city crews to work every day through April to fix potholes throughout the city.
January 10, 2014 2:53:27 PM PST
Chicago is thawing out after a deep freeze, so potholes are going to be a huge challenge.

Freezing and thawing conditions mean that perilous potholes are popping up on Chicago area streets. There are some deep craters on Lake Shore Drive. Some unfortunate commuters hit some ugly potholes near that stretch before Buckingham Fountain. Eyewitness News found two drivers pulled over on Balbo with flat tires and a big headache.

"Especially after the weather we had it's gonna only become a bigger issue so hopefully sooner rather than later it gets resolved because I don't want to run into this on the way to work every day," said Mike Roop.

On Friday afternoon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel thanked pothole crews along Taylor Street for their hard work after he ordered city crews to work every day through April to fix potholes throughout the city.

According to the city, crews have already filled more than 15,000 potholes.

"The whole city is tore up. It's worse everywhere," said Elayna Stamps, pothole worker.

The move came a week after the city inspector general issued a report concluding that between 2010 and 2012, the Chicago Department of Transportation failed to fix a quarter of the potholes within a week of them being reported.

"We encourage the public to use 311 to report potholes. We send our crews to locations, to blocks, to areas with the highest concentration because we want to have the lowest amount of travel time possible," said Commissioner Tom Carney, Chicago Dept. of Transportation.

Keith Hoskins with Chicago Custom Rims and Tires says he's staying busy repairing tires and rims damaged by potholes.

"Because of the potholes actually I've been doing about 10-15 rims a day, bent rims, some cracked, some just demolished that we can't fix. It's been hectic because of the potholes," said Hoskins.

Alderman Roderick Sawyer's staff was already getting calls about snow on side streets but began fielding calls about potholes on Friday.

"We're going from a 40-degree change in the last four days of weather. We're going to get expanded calls, so we want to make sure that we can service our residents adequately and make sure that they're not having a rough ride in the city of Chicago," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward.

The city says they have 22 repair crews out on the street, including one that will work the weekend and one that will work the overnight shift.