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Emanuel Orders Pothole "Strike Teams"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The mayor announced Monday the Chicago Department of Transportation has formed "strike teams" to systematically fill in potholes on major arterial streets every Monday and Friday for the next several weeks. Emily Florez reports. (Published Monday, Mar 10, 2014)

    Sick of Chicago potholes? Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he's working on it.

    The mayor announced Monday the Chicago Department of Transportation has formed "strike teams" to systematically fill in potholes on major arterial streets every Monday and Friday for the next several weeks. They are working through 1,055 miles of pavement on the major thoroughfares.

    "This extraordinary winter has taken a toll on our streets, and for the remainder of the pothole season, we will have teams targeting repairs to the city's major thoroughfares," Emanuel said. "Our main arterials are the most heavily traveled by drivers and at higher speeds, so we will focus efforts to restore these streets for our residents."

    The announcement comes after Emanuel ordered an audit on arterial streets repaved last year by private contractors to find out if any potholes had formed again.

    On March 1, Emanuel ordered an additional six pothole crews to the existing fleet of 24. So far, the city crews have filled 240,000 potholes in 2014.

    "CDOT staff will continue to fill potholes wherever they appear, but we will now focus our attention on the city's major streets which are the most heavily traveled," said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. "We are adjusting our tactics to address the biggest pothole problem areas in the city that affect the most people."

    Despite the mayor's efforts, potholes continue to be a problem for Chicago drivers. The problem has gotten so bad that local photographer and filmmaker Lou Perez even made a short horror film about them.

    An NBC investigation reported there were 8,000 complaints for potholes in just one week in February, but several of those complaints could have been for the same potholes.

    The damage extends beyond the pockmarked streets. Mechanic Frank Guaske of Wells Automotive said he repairs pothole damage on as many as 50 to 60 cars each week.

    If you see a pothole in your neighborhood, report it to the city by calling 311 or filing a report on cityofchicago.org. You can also track pothole repairs with a new tracking app available on the city's website.