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Tweet Your Pothole Pics to CDOT

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Tweet Your Pothole Pics to CDOT

Chicago Department of Transportation crews tackle potholes along West Garfield Boulevard on Wednesday.

The city wants to know where the potholes are, and they're embracing Twitter as a way to collect pothole reports.

At a press event Wednesday, Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein said the department has nearly eliminated the backlog of fill requests.

Efforts ramped up, Klein said, after Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office nine months ago. By using enhanced mapping technology, by having asphalt delivered to field offices each day and by merging alley and street crews, the more than 9,000 fill requests that existed last May had been dwindled down to about 300 on Wednesday.

But Klein acknowledged that number doesn't include all of the potholes that exist and called for the public's help in reporting them.

"Just because we have 300 open customer service requests doesn't mean we have 300 potholes city-wide. We probably have 10 times that number, at least," he said.

Between 17 and 20 crews are now working on regular routes to fill service requests and proactively find other potholes. Crews are able to fill service requests in about 2.5 days, said Klein.

When the pothole problem is tackled, Klein said he'd like to move some of those crews to paving projects.

"With the winter being mild, we don't think we'll need a lot of supplemental efforts or extra crews and so we'd like to start paving early, in March, catching up on our work from last year and probably paving more this year than we ever have before," he said.

Residents can report potholes by calling 311, by filing a report on the city's website, or by sending a tweet with a location and photo to @ChicagoDOT.

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