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Thaw This Week May Mean More Potholes

Potholes

Potholes (CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – Your ride into 2011 may be a little bumpy in the Chicago area, all because of the warmer weather we’re getting Thursday and Friday.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, freeze-thaw cycles bring about potholes by causing the pavement to contract and expand, and become loose.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports.

Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Steele said anyone looking to get a pothole filled should call the city’s non-emergency line, at 311.

“Our crews are actually assigned based on the 311 calls, and while they’re out filling a pothole that was reported to 311, they also fill all the other ones on the block, so 311 is really a critical tool in our operation,” Steele said.

Steele said last December was much worse for potholes than this December. He said the city filled thousands of potholes last December.

Two winters ago was one of the worst seasons for potholes in recent memory. By mid-January 2009, the city was averaging 4,000 potholes awaiting repair each day, and had patched 45,000 potholes. Just one viaduct on 71st Street had more than 100 potholes only in the eastbound lanes.

Last year, the total number dropped to 33,000 potholes by mid-January.