Watch out! That water-filled gap in the pavement up ahead could be just an inch or two deep. Or it might leave you with a bent rim.
Naperville motorists are encountering numerous new and enlarged potholes since last week’s bitter cold. Sometimes they can cause damage to a vehicle.
Jim Hess, owner of Naper Auto Works, was working on one such car Monday afternoon, although he’d been hearing more from customers about slippery conditions than holes in the asphalt. Vehicles brought in so far for repairs arising from winter woes more commonly had damage from their drivers grazing curbs or other relatively minor mishaps resulting from snow-covered roads and ice. But with winter weather predicted to resume this week, things are bound to change.
“I think with this thaw coming and the way things are, the potholes will be increasing,” said Hess, who has owned his shop on North Mill Street since 1977.
City officials are aware of the problem. Christine Schwartzhoff, operations team leader in the Public Works Department, said there had been “a slight increase in the number of pothole complaints” that is likely to grow. Plans called for two crews to be out inspecting and patching major roads this week.
“With the extreme temperature swings, we expect that we will continue to see an increase in the number of potholes throughout town. Generally we see more potholes on arterial streets because of the higher volume of traffic,” Schwartzhoff said in an email, noting that pothole complaints called in are generally addressed within 24 hours. “In addition to the calls that we get about potholes, the arterial and collector streets are inspected a minimum of once a month for potholes.”
Neighborhood streets, she said, undergo inspection no less than once every three months.
“The potholes that are found are immediately repaired,” she said.