According to the Chicago Sun-Times, on Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration announced that the city has already eliminated the backlog of 9,000 potholes in the city since May of last year. Additionally, the city says it is now keeping pace with requests to fill potholes on public streets. The efforts to eliminate these often dangerous problems have in part been a product of the Chicago Department of Transportation's new strategies and technology, which were adopted in November, that makes the process more efficient and effective in the long run.
With this announcement regarding the improvement of city streets, here are some facts about Chicago's long history of pothole problems and details on the recent efforts to eliminate them:
* The Chicago Tribune reported that more than 600,000 potholes were filed by the city in 2011, which is approximately 1,640 per day.
* In all of 2010, the city only filled 430,000 potholes, meaning that 2011 saw a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of potholes repaired.
* Normally harsh winters and the fact that many streets only have about a 10-year lifespan on average have only added to Chicago's need to keep repairing existing and forming potholes.
* An article from WLS reported that in the past, Chicago's potholes have been so bad that some drivers have had to report damage to their vehicles to the city.
* Claims filed by drivers are either denied or approved, in which the city agrees to pay half of the damage estimates within four to six months after submitting their claim.
* In August, CDOT revealed the city's new technologically-advanced vehicles, known as the PK 2000, that make pothole filling easier and quicker since it uses a telescopic arm to clean out, fill, and seal up to 100 potholes a day, noted the Huffington Post.
* During the same month, CDOT launched a trial period using four of the PK 2000 trucks, which cost the city $50,000 to lease, in hopes that the trucks would be an efficient option.
* In late January, the city announced that the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) would have crews working seven days a week, including nights, to patch and repair potholes throughout numerous neighborhoods.
* CDOT crews map and track potholes reported through the city's 311 non-emergency system and specifically use cold-patch asphalt material in order to repair them.
* Fox News Chicago also noted that this year's unseasonably mild temperatures and much less snow have also helped the city repair the streets at a quicker pace than the previous year.
Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. As a college student from the Chicago suburbs pursuing two science degrees, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.