City Hires More Crews to Fix Chicago's Pothole Problem

The city is taking a few extra measures to make sure it fixes Chicago's pothole problem.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Saturday that the Department of Transportation is adding six more pothole crews, with the expectation of filling an additional 1,500 potholes a day, as the city tackles the large amount of depressions that have surfaced during this cold and snowy winter.

"City workers have done a tremendous job making repairs in all neighborhoods to keep Chicago moving, but the extreme cold and historic snow totals have made it necessary to add workers," Emanuel said in a statement.

The new crews will come from the ranks of seasonal asphalt workers, who normally work for CDOT during the summer months on street repaving projects, and they will be on the job by March 1, according to a press release from the mayor's office.

Miles of streets that make up Chicago's celebrated complexion are pockmarked and pitted.

"They're worse than ever," driver Moreen Mohr says.

Mechanic Frank Guaske, Manager of Wells Automotive, says he's repairing pothole damage on as many as 50 to 60 cars a week. And, he says, because of the weather and temperatures swings "the next two to three weeks are really going to be hell."

There are as many as 24 crews working seven days a week to patch potholes. Since Jan. 1, the city reports a staggering 165,000 potholes have been patched.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears to be pushing for a more permanent solution. He promised Wednesday that Chicago's streets will be "paved, plowed and passable and we're all going to do it in a balanced budget."

Because of a new arrangement between CDOT, the city's Water Department and public utilities, the Mayor has set a goal of paving 300 miles of the city's streets. He says newly-paved streets have fewer potholes. Politically speaking it may also be true that newly-paved streets generate fewer gripes from voters.

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