City says it's ahead on pothole repairs thanks to mild winter

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you haven't hit many potholes with your car on Chicago's streets this winter, you're not alone. The city says it's ahead of the game when it comes to pothole repairs.

Potholes are inevitable. Every winter they pop up and wreak havoc to our cars.

"My muffler fell yesterday because of the bumps, potholes I've been hitting," said Marilyn Diaz, a driver.

And yet, this season, the city - which is usually scrambling just to keep up with new potholes - says the mild weather so far has allowed them to catch up with their backlog.

"The weather has been good. We've also paved over 1,400 streets over the past 3-4 years and that helps a lot as well," said Randy Connor, first deputy commissioner at CDOT.

In fact, the Chicago Department of Transportation said this past January, CDOT only filled 40,300 potholes. That's compared to 60,000 plus in 2015 and 94,000 in 2014, the year of the polar vortex. Still, things are far from perfect.

In a report issued last month, the city's inspector general criticized CDOT for not doing enough preventive maintenance or managing its resources effectively.

"We're addressing those issues. We're looking at crew sizes. We're looking at how we route work. We're looking at the type of material that we use. We're looking at just how resources are being spent right now," Connor said.

This is all, of course, good news for drivers, but not so much for auto repair shops.

"Normally this time of the year they'd be lined up out the door with the pothole damage - bent wheels, blown out tires, impact brakes on the sidewalls. But this year you just don't have the potholes, they're just not there," said Jack Gordon, Ashland Tire and Auto.

To report a pothole in Chicago:
-By phone: Dial 311
-Online: Visit
-By text: 311-311 enter the word "Chicago" in the text line and follow the prompts.
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