CHICAGO — After snow and frigid weather, it’s now that time of year drivers in Chicago dread — pothole season.
The Chicago Department of Transportation says it has as many as 30 crews out seven days a week, all looking to patch up the potholes.
“We’ll be very busy; there are a lot of requests coming in,” CDOT Commissioner Tom Carney said. “That temperature change and the moisture change really opened up some holes in the streets.”
Asphalt cracks as it ages. When water gets inside the cracks and freezes, the pavement expands, making it even weaker. Then when the weather starts to warm up, potholes develop as cars drive on the already compromised asphalt.
People can call 311 to report potholes or go online to 311.chicago.gov.
“It’s like almost a third world country going over those roads bumping and all that stuff,” driver Nathan Burchill said.
Thawing out from a deep freeze brings even more pesky potholes that can do some serious damage to your vehicle. If your car is damaged by a pothole, you can file a claim through the City of Chicago Clerk’s office. The city will ask for your insurance information, a police report and repair estimate.
If you live outside of Chicago, you can call your local jurisdiction or IDOT if there are potholes on the highway. Emergency repairs were underway Monday after multiple lanes had to be shut down on the Kennedy Expressway because of potholes.
“You try to avoid them obviously but there’s only so much you can do with traffic in two lanes going each way there’s really not a lot of options,” driver Edgar Jara said.
Trying to avoid potholes is common, but could be dangerous on the roads.
“People should drive with caution; certainly tell people it’s better to slow down than go around into oncoming traffic,” Carney said.
CDOT says it will take some dry weather to catch up, but they’re working as quickly as possible.