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Potholes, Meet "Pothole Killer"

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 12, 2011 2:19PM

City Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein is hoping a new approach to filling potholes he used while he was Washington, DC's transportation commissioner will pay similar dividends in Chicago.

Klein has leased four "pothole killer" systems - trucks equipped with a telescopic arm that can fill a pothole in 60 seconds - and it testing them out across the city. CDOT employs four to five crews of up to four persons each to tend to potholes during the summer and up to 20 such crews during the winter months when potholes can eat our young. If the pothole killers, which the city is leasing at a cost of $50,000 per month each, prove to be successful in tackling the Chicago breed of pothole, some of the manpower CDOT dedicates to pothole repair can be switched over to street paving and other areas.

A similar test of a pothole filling machine failed three years ago, leading Laborers Union Local 1001 president Lou Phillips to wonder why the city was trying it out again at such a cost. But CDOT spokesman Brian Steele countered the pothole killer was a far cry from the trucks tested out then. Klein reiterated that the trucks would allow CDOT to catch up on pothole repair and not lead to a loss in manpower.