CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicagoans are used to harsh winters filled with ice and snow, but this year’s moderate weather is helping city crews get a head start on an early spring problem.
According to the city, pothole crews usually have to wait until spring to begin filling most of the craters that pockmark our roads; but not this year.
Friday morning, the Chicago Department of Transportation wrapped up its first press conference of the year on pothole repairs.
The relatively mild conditions have given the city’s pothole eradication teams an early start, and they filled more than 56,000 of the pesky and sometimes costly holes in January. The city is deploying more than 15 crews on some days.
“Without the snow and without the ice, we’re able to stay on top of that. Also, because they’re not spreading as much salt now. … The plows, they can be a headache to us as well. When the plows go by, they pull out the material that we put in, then we have to come back and do it again as well,” CDOT First Deputy Commissioner Randy Conner said. “So, as long as the weather stays like this – there’s no snow, no ice – we should be okay.”
City officials said pothole complaints are actually down by 18 percent compared to 2015.
“When there’s snow and ice, and then there’s a big freeze-thaw cycle, then you will see the numbers increase, but we’ve been lucky this winter,” Conner said.
If you want to follow up on a complaint call to 311, you can go to the city’s pothole tracker.
The tool shows where potholes were identified and how many were filled in a particular area.