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Added Mar 06 2014

I have seen my fair share of winter seasons as a life-long Chicagoan but never before have the potholes been this bad. Seems to me like this city-wide issue coincided with private companies getting the job(s) that once belonged to Streets & Sanitation.
("What's big and blue and sleeps six?"), went the old joke, but at least our streets didn't look like the surface of the moon.

I know for a fact that Ashland Blvd. between Pratt and Devon was resurfaced pretty recently and it already looks terrible. Are these private contractors short-pouring the asphalt? What city department is in charge of oversight for these companies and the work they do?

  • Andrew Mann Hippie with a job

    Right on!

  • The streets are especially bad this year, but I don't think it has anything to do with who writes the employee's paychecks.
    It probably has more to do with the unusually harsh winter we have just experienced.

  • DaveP been around

    We can put people on the moon, yet somehow we can't come up with street patches that last longer than a month?

    Follow the money

  • Brian Jogger like the lakefront and beach

    Kyros your very reasonable explanation just isn't appealing to conspiracy theorists who devote their lives to exposing official corruption, lazy workers and city crooks. This winter's cycle of repeated thaws followed by ultra-deep freezing temperatures would put potholes in streets paved with solid blocks of Carrara marble. Constant pounding by buses and heavy trucks acts like one big 24-hour jackhammer.

  • Vic neighbor

    Why, of course! C(r)ook County is a fairy tale land filled with gumdrops and teddy bears whereby all of its folk are the most honest and upright of citizens.

    How positively silly of me.

  • d3 NOH

    @Brian, except for every time the city seeks budgetary reduction ideas 20 people who actually know about the types of asphalt chime in and say it's the city's fault for the types of asphalt they use (hot mix vs this or that)... and they very often work on these projects all summer, get backed up, and pave the roads around September. I can name a dozen roads that have been paved after august 31 on the north side. Asphalt is not marble so I don't know... asphalt doesn't cure overnight, nor does it cure if the temps are 30 degrees.

  • Mac I complain on EB on the regular.

    Maybe all those -40/wind chill days we all experienced had something to do with the potholes this year?

  • For everybody who thinks problems with original paving and street maintenance aren't a big reason and the bad weather is the sole cause: Has anyone driven outside the city limits? There are busy streets, trucks, and buses in Evanston and Skokie, not to mention expressways, but not potholes like ours.

    Even our never-admit-error mayor says it's a question of old (inadequate originally, or at least by now) versus recent paving. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but sometimes there really is a conspiracy.

  • Pension Pat

    I agree with Bill. You can tell the difference in the streets when you leave the city.

    I hope the " audit " of the re-paving sites is honest.

    If the city is paying top dollar for repaving, we should get top quality asphalt that lasts. Inspectors should determine if the asphalt used is of the quality that the city paid for.

    We should also see which paving companies are making political contributions.

    Are the big donors getting the contracts ?

    Sweetheart deals ?

    The contract should have some sort of guarantee. If their work starts to fall apart, they should have to go back and make it right. ( at no additional cost ).


    Also, who is doing the re-paving over the excavations for Peoples Gas work ?

    Much of this work is " shoddy ". Not a smooth transition from the original street level. Much of the " new " asphalt isn't holding up.

    The city should put pressure on Peoples Gas to force them to hire better paving contractors.

    With the recent rise in gas prices, Peoples Gas should have a lot of money to pay for quality repaving that lasts.


    Why do so many potholes form around sewer openings ?

    Should concrete be used around the sewer opening with asphalt beyond that ?

    And the new asphalt level should come close to the existing street level.


  • Pension Pat

    Pothole rant # 2 :

    Is there some sort of liquid quick set asphalt ?

    I would think that this kind of material would bond better with the existing street. It would make a smoother transition also.

    A filled pothole should not be an obvious bump in the road.


    Is there a " priority " ranking of what potholes get fixed first ?

    High traffic street potholes should be filled overnight.
    Get to side streets later.

    I'm getting tired of " near miss " collisions when another car comes out of the neighboring lane to avoid a pothole. Cyclists do the same thing.

    Driving around should not be an adventure fraught with danger.

    I'm too old for this level of excitement.


    There has got to be a better way of dealing with the pothole situation.
    The worst part of pothole hell is just beginning.

    We are now getting into the " freeze - thaw " weather cycle.


    Sorry this posting was so lengthy, but it felt good to " vent ".

  • Pension Pat

    Pothole rant # 3 :

    Maybe the pothole situation should become a mayoral election issue ?

    Every year we go through this aggravation.

    I would think that the paving industry has the technology to repair streets in a manner that would be better than what now exists.

    I don't remember reading about ancient Rome having a pothole crisis with THEIR roads.

  • All I hear is how broke the city much did it cost for the Mayors splash in the lake....perhaps those funds could of been directed toward Pot Hole repair....just saying !

  • Vic neighbor

    I agree w/Bill and P.P..

    Often the "repairs", (and I use the term loosely), are really shoddy, leaving wavy, uneven surfaces. If they're temporary, fine- but who checks up on this work? Back in the day this wasn't the case. When S & S did repairs they left the street with a smooth surface to drive on, not an adventure ride of hops, bumps, and dips.

    The transitions on any connecting streets to/from the 1st ring suburbs are quite telling and, I believe, indicative of gross negligence.

  • Blair Wentworth-McCormick independent consultant

    The "Mayors splash in the lake", as you call it, brought in more than one million dollars in charitable contributions to support the Special Olympics. Do you have something against those kids with special needs? Or is filling pot holes more important in the scheme of things?

  • Andrew Mann Hippie with a job

    You know Rahm's polar splash was a PR move because he used the unkind word "retarded". And he wore a wetsuit anyway. Always a cheat...

  • DaveP been around

    To me, who lives in this city, filling potholes is absolutely more important than Rahn hanging out with celebs and going swimming.

  • Carl Good

    Maybe next year the mayor and his charities can plunge into a pothole instead of into the lake. I've seen some potholes big enough for that.

  • Mac I complain on EB on the regular.

    These potholes are eating up my 24's like you wouldn't believe.

  • I'm in Schaumburg right now and it's amaZing how few potholes there are out here despite same freeze/thaw conditions-maybe worse-as well as trucks busses etc and realistically more traffic!! For this to become a mayoral issue there would need to be real outrage (a la Jane Byrne). Need a follow the $$ investigation but the media here don't want to anger Rahm

  • Di

    On Lunt between Greenview and Clark it is crater city!!

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    On Friday, Bill wrote: "There are busy streets, trucks, and buses in Evanston and Skokie, not to mention expressways, but not potholes like ours." Beg to differ, Bill, but driving back from Jewel on Chicago Ave. Saturday evening, my companion said that he hoped the driver behind him didn't report him as a drunk driver for the way he was weaving back and forth to avoid all the potholes.

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    I think it is a combo of materials used, when they did the work and the weather. As for filling it... I did see some workers that were just dumping piles and not really patting it down, which was basically useless for filling it. I think they were expecting that the cars driving by would flatten it out but all it did was really scatter it and recreate the pothole over time.

  • Apple Jack a concerned citizen

    Chicago Avenue and Main street in Evanston are ten times worse than anything in Rogers Park. They are like bombed out roads in Syria.

  • kelly hudson Live in the Bosworth area near nothshore

    I didn't know those were potholes but rather garden apartments

  • d3 NOH

    @AppleJack, maybe... but you know what? I called 311 in evanston on oakton two weeks ago to report the bombed out cratered street... this was 5pm on my way back from home depot. next morning 11am same trip, they were all filled. I've reported maybe 50 or so potholes in chicago this winter and most of them take on average at least a month to fill it seems. even the ones on Sheridan Road by loyola/devon that could sink a car sit there unattended to for weeks after being reported, often.

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