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They're Back - CHICAGO POTHOLES Spring Up to Mangle Axles, Gobble Hubcaps!

Those nasty POTHOLES are back in Chicago once again.  And, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation, we're only at the beginning of Chicago Pothole Season!

For those not as city-fied as those of us here in Chicago, potholes are those growing craters, both large and small, that begin to pop up on our expressways, major thoroughfares, and less-busy residential streets each winter and spring.  They destroy wheel alignment, damage fancy aluminum wheels, and jar the nerves of those who cannot avoid them.

Even though winter is officially only a week old, cold weather and snow, intermittently followed by periods of warm up, have pock-marked many road surfaces in the city, and made them not only irritating, but potentially dangerous as well.

Near our office in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago, numerous craters have appeared on Western Avenue between Belmont and Foster, on four-lane Irving Park Road between the Kennedy Expressway and the Lake, and on Lincoln Avenue, all the way up to suburban Lincolnwood to the north of the city.

Serious damage is often a result when drivers can't avoid potholes.  Side-swipe accidents - or worse -sometimes result when drivers quickly swerve to avoid them. 

Last week, temperatures here started out near zero.  They rose to just above the freezing point mid-week, turned into the teens over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and skyrocketed into the seasonally-tropical 50's Saturday.  Rain melted much of our snow cover locally, causing flooding in some areas.

Today, Sunday, the temperature is back in the high-20's.  Remaining moisture is re-freezing across the Chicago area. 

Chicago Department of Transportation workers are getting about 300 calls each day now over pothole complaints.  They use a cold-asphalt patch as a temporary fill measure, with a more durable hot patch going in when the weather warms next spring.  If calls escalate in January, February, and March, it could over-tax repair crews, and create longer lead times for repair.  For now, however, according to Brian Steele, a spokesman for the Department, crews are keeping up with repair work.

Steele credits a recently-resurfaced Lake Shore Drive for reducing the number of complaints on this storied, but very-heavily-commuted-upon road.  However, LSD represents only a tiny proportion of the 3,800 miles of arterial and residential streets across Chicago - not even considering the extensive Chicago Expressway System, mostly tended to by State of IL Repair Crews.

Find a dangerous pothole in Chicago?  Call "311" in the city to report it and get it filled. 

Slow response?  Let us know via this blog.  We'll get word to the Department of Transportation, so they can get them repaired.  Hopefully - quickly!

See our post from yesterday evening via BlogChicagoHomes.com, with a link to Steve Schmadeke's article in the Chicago Tribune, from Christmas Day,


Comment balloon 0 commentsDean Moss • December 28 2008 12:40PM


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