March 6, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Orders Audit of Recently Repaved Arterial Streets

City to Protect Infrastructure Investments through Warranties with Private Companies

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is conducting an audit of streets recently repaved by private contractors last year to determine if any potholes have formed, and will work with the contractors to make any necessary repair work or provide the City with reimbursement under quality assurance warranties.

“Last year, CDOT and their private contractors did tremendous job paving streets in neighborhoods across Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “As we pave even more streets this year, we will take the necessary steps to protect our investment and make sure the work is standing up as expected to this winter weather.”

Under the Building a New Chicago infrastructure investment program city crews, contractors and utilities have resurfaced nearly 300 miles of streets and alleys in 2013, and nearly 700 miles total since he took office in 2011. Mayor Emanuel recently announced that CDOT is developing an expanded plan to resurface additional streets in 2014, which will help to improve the overall quality of the streets and reduce the number of potholes we may see next winter.

Alderman Carrie Austin, Chairman of the Committee on the Budget and Government Operations, recommended the audit after finding cracks in a recently repaved street in the 34th Ward.

“We used taxpayer money to repave our streets, and must ensure that we are not paying additional costs because of contractors' poor materials or craftsmanship,” said Ald. Austin (34). “Wentworth Avenue was resurfaced in my ward last year, and there are cracks already forming this year. We should examine our streets to see if contractors should be held responsible, and I am pleased that CDOT is undertaking this effort.”

There are about 100 miles of arterial streets that were paved by private utilities and contractors in 2013 that are still under warranty.

“CDOT staff will continue to examine these repaved streets, review any pothole complaints, and will seek either repairs or reimbursement for work already performed by City staff,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “Under the standard one-year warranty for materials and workmanship, the newly improved streets should have endured this winter.”

To date in 2014, CDOT crews have filled more than 215,000 potholes. Six additional crews were added this weekend. With the added labor, CDOT will have up to 30 pothole crews on the street at one time, including double the amount of crews that currently work weekends. The extra crews, starting earlier than usual will fill approximately 25,000 more holes in March.

Chicagoans can track the fight against potholes and see a week’s worth of CDOT’s work on the City’s Pothole Tracker application (, which shows not only the calls for service but the number of potholes filled during each site visit.
Chicagoans can report potholes in a number of ways, including:

  • Calling 311
  • Using the City’s website at or various Open 311 smartphone apps including: SeeClickFix and Chicago Works. For more web and smartphone civic apps, visit Chicago Digital.
  •  Using ChiText by texting “Chicago” to 311311 to start the reporting process

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