Potholes in Chicago: City races to repave, resurface major streets before winter arrives

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The city is up against the clock in Chicago to finish filling potholes before winter arrives in full force. (WLS)

The city is racing to repave long stretches of arterial streets in Chicago to fix potholes before winter arrives in full force.

"The clock is definitely ticking," said Anne Bigane, owner of Bigane Paving.

Bigane Paving, a Chicago company for 112 years, manufactures hot mix asphalt and has contracts to lay it down for the city.

"We're really chasing the weather at this time of the year. We're trying to get as much as we can get done, but Mother Nature is really going to decide when we stop," Bigane said.

PHOTOS: City of Chicago races to repave streets, fix potholes before winter

As the temperatures drop, it gets harder for crews to keep the asphalt hot. That means paving will soon come to a screeching halt. Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld has her fingers crossed.

"We've been able to continue to move aggressively with paving. We are hoping to continue through the end of this month and into early December, weather permitting," Scheinfeld said.

But many Chicagoans are growing very impatient. Diego Contreras lives in the city's Little Village neighborhood, where people are dodging craters along Central Avenue near Cermak Road. He said these car eaters cost him more than $1,000 in damage.

"It's frustrating because we've been putting in complaints about the streets and around the neighborhood. We're all waiting for it, cause we all say winter is around the corner," Contreras said.

Many areas of the city are still undone and full of potholes. There are more than 2,700 open requests to the 311 hotline.

But the city said from January to November, they've been able to get to more than 64,000.

"We had a brutal winter last year, last season, where it just had a dire impact on our streets. I'm concerned because we haven't been able to catch up," said Ald. Ricardo Munoz of the 22nd Ward.

But Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is looking to win re-election in February, said in an exclusive interview with ABC7 Eyewitness News Reporter Jessica D'Onofrio that he's been looking for money under the couch to get it done.

"This is not something you just do around Election Day. We've been at this, which is how we've done 1,000 miles of new paved road in just four years. In the next four years, we're going do 1,200 miles," Emanuel said.

Emanuel is throwing an extra $10 million at the problem next year. For the first time ever, pothole crews will work year-round instead of just seasonally.

Until then, some drivers just will just have to feel the pain as crews work to close the gaps.
Related Topics:
potholesrahm emanuelChicago City HallwinterChicago - Little Village
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