CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago is about to unleash the “pothole killer,” in a piece of good news for motorists fed up with flat tires and bent rims.
As CBS 2’s David Morrison reports, the winter months are closer than they may seem, and when the roads grow icy, potholes are inevitable.
The Chicago Department of Transportation is taking action in advance. The department is rolling out four new trucks with special technology that can fill a pothole in less than 60 seconds with only about half the crew used now, the Chicago Sun-Times explained.
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The trucks employ a telescopic arm that is mounted on the front grille, which blows moisture and debris from the pothole, then plugs it with asphalt patching material, the Sun-Times reported.
If the pilot program is successful, expect to see more of the trucks to go out in the winter months in the future.
The city has filled 450,000 potholes since Jan. 1, according to the Sun-Times. In the beginning of the year, a deep freeze staved off a rash of potholes, since there wasn’t much chance for snow to melt and freeze, but temperature swings in March meant potholes galore.
The biggest factors beside the weather are traffic and how recently the street has been resurfaced. Potholes tend to occur most frequently on busy arterial streets or on streets that have gone years without being repaved, Chicago Department of Transportation Brian Steele said in January.
The worst recent winter for potholes was 2008-2009, in which the city was averaging 4,000 potholes awaiting repair each day. As an example of how severe the problem became, in January 2009, just one viaduct on 71st Street had more than 100 potholes only in the eastbound lanes.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.