Pothole problems running deep

Transportation officials plan to resurface worst roadways first

Repeated wild swings in temperatures this winter are speeding up the deterioration of Chicago-area roads and leading to an early pothole season, with a few months of freeze-and-thaw cycles yet to come.

Pick a street, just about any street — from Green Bay Road in the north suburbs to 95th Street on Chicago's Far South Side — and you'll find vehicles taking a beating from fractured pavement.

Like a triage medic on a battlefield, officials at transportation departments in Chicago, the suburbs and at the state level have started mapping out strategies earlier than usual to fix the worst, most highly traveled roads first, before money runs out.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, which is responsible for maintaining state-designated routes in the Chicago area, had already completed most of the resurfacing projects in IDOT's fiscal 2014 road improvement budget before winter, officials said.

Resurfacing projects that remain for the spring include Harlem Avenue from the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) to 63rd Street in Chicago; Green Bay Road from the Wisconsin state line to Illinois Highway 173 in the Zion area; and Foster Avenue between St. Louis Avenue and the bridge over the Chicago River branch east of Albany Avenue in Chicago, IDOT said.

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