CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago was patching up potholes on the far southeast side Thursday morning, just hours after a CBS 2 story exposing car damage from a bumpy stretch of 134th Street.
The road runs across the state line from Chicago’s Hegewish neighborhood to Hammond, Indiana.
Hammond business owners are wondering what city officials there will do about their portion of the road after Hammond mayor Tom McDermott discussed the potholes at a town hall meeting Tuesday night.
McDermott mentioned the CBS 2 story and went on to say that 134th Street, also known as Boy Scout Road, is used mainly by Illinois residents going to Hammond.
“It’s not really used by a lot of Hammond residents,” he said.
He openly discussed with a city engineer whether Hammond has any use for the road.
The next closest road from Illinois to Indiana is more than a mile away.
“There’s some businesses that rely on the road,” the engineer said.
“Maybe the businesses should build the road,” McDermott said. “It’s more for them than anyone else. Interesting discussion.”
But Hammond business owners near 134th Street tell CBS 2 they are not so interested.
“People from Hammond actually go out that way also,” Blessings Resale Store owner Jacqueline Castillo said.
“To have businesses pay for that, I think, is a terrible idea,” Pete Ramos, owner of Petey’s Famous Gyros & Ice Cream, said.
John Skadvis, owner of Auto Clinic & Muffler shop, said he wants the road repaired even though his shop gains business from people damaging their cars on the road.
“We do use that road. Our customers use that road. I think they (the city) should repair it,” he said.
A public works director spoke up at the town hall meeting, saying the road is prone to flooding, and when city workers do try to patch it, the wild weather often creates new potholes.
“Talk to me after this, okay?” McDermott responded. The mayor then addressed a councilman in the room and requested a “quick, impromptu meeting” after the town hall meeting to discuss the road.
CBS 2 reached out to the mayor to ask what was said after the meeting. He has not responded to either of our stories on the road.
“There was a reporter with Channel 2 news that said, ‘I’m doing a story on this today,'” McDermott said at the Tuesday night meeting. “I didn’t comment on it. I just took notice of it. If you see it on the news tonight, we might want to do something about Boy Scout Road also.”
He went on to soay, if it were up to the Hammond Police Department, the road would be shut down.
The 10th Ward alderman’s office said it has been considering resurfacing the road. A staff member said after McDermott’s remarks the alderman’s office is reaching out to the City of Hammond for clarification.