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Warm Weather, New Strategies Equal Fewer Potholes

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 23, 2012 9:30PM

Image Credit: Colin Bayer
One of the silver linings to this mild winter has been a marked decrease in the number of potholes. According to numbers released by the Chicago Department of transportation, city pothole crews reduced the number of pothole repair requests from nearly 7,000 in November 2011 to 300 currently open.

More impressive, CDOT has reduced the time between the reporting of a pothole and its repair to an average of 2.5 days. The warm weather has certainly been a factor, but both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CDOT Chairman Gabe Klein say new strategies have played a part.

CDOT has adopted a mapping technology that allows them to build a daily grid for crews to follow when responding to open calls. Asphalt materials are now delivered to four neighborhood field offices, making it easier for crews to restock and get back out on the streets. Klein said adopting these strategies has resulted in "the elimination of a large backlog of outstanding calls for service."

Another new strategy CDOT is using is social media. Residents can tweet a photo of a pothole and its location to CDOT at @ChicagoDOT. Klein said just because there were only 300 open pothole repair requests doesn't mean there are only 300 potholes.

We probably have 10 times that number, at least."