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City Hall Following Trail Of Potholes, Cracks To Road Contractors

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(CBS) – The Emanuel administration is blaming Chicago’s latest pothole-palooza on the companies that paved the streets last year.

City Hall has even launched an audit and plans to enforce the one-year guarantee on asphalt.

CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports.

Ald. Carrie Austin says she spent a good part of her 34th Ward budget repaving Halsted from 115th to 97th streets just last spring – only for it to crack and separate now, during the winter.

Austin says she would have thought the roadwork would have been good for five or 10 years.

She took her complaint to the mayor, and now he’s rolling out an audit to examine recently repaved main arteries to see if they’ve become pothole-riddled.

“We’ll be holding contractors accountable for repaving those segments if they have, in fact, failed,” Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld says.

The city is planning to take advantage of the one-year warranty built into repaving contracts totaling $100 million.

Only the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association would respond to the mayor’s new plan, saying: “The roads have been subject to extreme stress from both the freeze-thaw cycle and abundant use of salt.”

“Why is it cracking? You cannot tell me it’s all weather related,” Ald. Austin counters.

CDOT officials say they expect repairs to occur this spring, when the construction season picks up.

“It’s about making sure we’re protecting our investment, so even if it’s a small amount of money, it’s important that we do this,” Scheinfeld says.

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