Chicago Ramps up Pothole Patching Operations, Laying Groundwork for Productive Paving Season

March 7, 2024

Photo of CDOT crews patching potholes on a street

CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced significant progress in maintaining Chicago’s streets this winter, with over 143,000 potholes filled citywide so far in 2024. Operating seven days a week with up to 25 separate crews assigned throughout Chicago, CDOT has been able to quickly respond to 311 requests and proactively fill thousands of potholes per day on days without precipitation. This approach, combined with the mild winter weather, will allow city crews to turn their attention from pothole patching to other roadway maintenance and improvement needs earlier in the spring.

“CDOT has capitalized on this winter’s mild weather, enabling us to fill a significantly larger number of potholes in the first two months than we have in recent years,” said CDOT Acting Commissioner Tom Carney. “This head start will allow us to shift our focus from patching to paving earlier in the season and deliver other long-term infrastructure improvements to every Chicago neighborhood.”

Potholes are caused by the freeze-thaw cycle. When moisture seeps into pavement, it expands when it freezes and contracts when it thaws.  This flexing of the pavement, combined with the melted water and the stress of vehicular traffic, causes pavement to deteriorate and potholes to form.

The approximately 143,000 potholes filled so far by CDOT this year are a notable increase from years prior. February was a particularly productive month, with CDOT filling more than 93,000 potholes in streets and alleyways – a 63 percent increase compared to February 2023 and a 100 percent increase compared to February 2022. Thanks to the mild winter and Chicago’s pothole response efforts, CDOT expects to have fewer new potholes created at the end of the season, allowing crews to switch from pothole duties to street and alley repaving services earlier than normal.

CDOT is targeting approximately 150 miles of streets and alleys to be resurfaced in 2024. This includes a nearly two-mile stretch of South Ashland Avenue in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood where today’s pothole patching took place. This resurfacing improves the quality and lifespan of Chicago’s streets and reduces the need for frequent pothole repairs.

“Quickly repairing our streets and responding to pothole complaints are the type of neighborhood services that make a big difference in quality of life for residents. I thank CDOT for their efforts and I encourage residents to call 311 to report potholes in their neighborhood,” said 17th ward Alderman David Moore.

Alderman David Moore Speaks in Front of a group of CDOT pothole crews in the 17th Ward

The public is encouraged to use the 311 system to help identify street and alley locations that need the attention of pothole patching crews. City residents can report potholes through one of the following methods: Using the website, CHI311 mobile app, or simply calling 311.

If you encounter a CDOT pothole crew while driving, please slow down and give the workers the space they need to do their jobs safely.



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