Turns out Chicago's potholes are as bad as you think they are.
As of Wednesday, roughly 2,000 pothole damage-to-vehicle claims have been filed with the city clerk's office, the most the office has seen. Last year there were a total of 743 such claims.
City officials say it takes months to process the claims. Though they can't estimate the total cost, each payout can be up to $2,000 to cover flat tires, bent wheel rims, realignments and even cracked windshields.
Chicago's brutal, record-setting winter left streets riddled with potholes. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last month he plans to expand the summer street paving program to resurface a total of 333 miles of arterial and neighborhood streets and alleys in 2014.
"It's a little more distance than Chicago to St. Louis," Emanuel said. "That's how many miles of roads will be paved in Chicago this season."
He also called for an audit of arterial streets repaved last year by private contractors to find out if any potholes have formed. Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) recommended the audit after she found cracks in a repaved street in her ward.
“We used taxpayer money to repave our streets, and must ensure that we are not paying additional costs because of contractors' poor materials or craftsmanship,” Austin said. “Wentworth Avenue was resurfaced in my ward last year, and there are cracks already forming this year."
If your vehicle was damaged, go to chicityclerk.com to find the forms along with information about documents to file with the claim.