Lake County Motorist

Suburban Chicagoland commuter and motorist weblog

Pothole mid-season update

With another wintry mix in the short-term forecast, it should be noted that winter is far from over and potholes are still in bloom.

Call ’em out: Grayslake allows motorists to report pothole sightings via the village’s website. The website indicates that this online reporting service is for Grayslake residents, and the form asks for your identifying information including name and address. If you report a pothole and are not a Grayslake resident, what would the village do? I don’t know. Nevertheless, Grayslake joins Highland Park in making an online pothole reporting form available.

Potholes next door: Although this site’s primary focus is Lake County, it has a few McHenry County readers. We are neighbors, after all. If any of those neighbors happen to know which municipality maintains Route 31 in the Fox River Valley area, please tell them that the potholes in the valley are numerous and deep, and in need of repair.

Found a pothole and don’t know who to tell? You can always tell the press. Post about it on Pioneer Press‘ Lake County blog, and perhaps help someone else avoid tire damage. Read and learn from pothole reports sent to the Lake County News-Sun. If you know who’s in charge of the rocky road and want to tell them directly, refer to this January 2008 post for some links.

Filed under: Road Conditions, , , , ,

Road Week Ahead: February 18 – February 22

Here’s what’s on tap for Lake County commuters this week: Pothole patching, brisk temperatures, and the usual.

Illinois Tollway commuter alert: Expect daytime lane closures for several pothole repair projects on Monday and Tuesday. Tri-State Tollway closures are planned as follows:

Monday 2/18:

  • Northbound and southbound between Half-Day Road and Route 176 (7 AM – 5 PM)
  • Southbound Tri-State from Route 137 to Stearns School Road (9 AM – 3 PM)
  • Scheduled lane closures for “snow removal” southbound from Route 137 to Route 120 (5 AM – 10 AM – commuter alert!) and northbound from Route 120 to Stearns School Road (10 AM – 3 PM)

Tuesday 2/19:

  • Southbound Tri-State from Route 137 to Stearns School Road (9 AM – 3 PM)
  • Northbound Tri-State from Half-Day Road to Route 176 (7 AM – 5 PM)
  • Scheduled lane closures for “snow removal” southbound from Route 137 to Route 120 (5 AM – 10 AM – commuter alert!) and northbound from Route 120 to Stearns School Road (10 AM – 3 PM)

Also in tollway news: ISTHA is hosting an Open House on Thursday February 21 “to share information regarding construction projects on the Tri-State Tollway”. The meeting will be held from 4-7 PM at the Tri-State Tollway Construction Field Office in Deerfield. Details are available at ISTHA’s website.

Links roundup: Illinois DOT construction update report and Lake County DOT roadwork update report.

Here’s the Interstate 94 weather report. Forecasters are predicting a week of frigid temps with only a dusting of snow. Of course, a Big Major Snowstorm was due on Sunday February 17; no major accumulation yet as of this writing.

Got a road tip? Click here to send it (opens in a new window).

Filed under: Roads, , ,

A hole new way to drive

Listeners to WBBM‘s traffic reports were treated to a litany of pothole sightings, many more than usual. Potholes were sighted along Route 12, Fairfield Road near Route 176, and others that unfortunately I do not recall. Sadly, I doubt that any were as honorable as this one.

The evening slog, though less sponge-like, included a generous amount of icy sleet and accidents of varying severity. Lake County Passage radio AM 1620 reported accidents on Route 60 near Route 176,and Peterson Road and Route 45. I suspect that the resulting traffic slowdowns squeezed motorists onto the other roads, as there truly was no speedy route home tonight for drivers. Your mileage, of course, may have varied.

And still – snowfall is expected to continue through Wednesday, laying a fresh coat of precipitation over the pothole grid.

[Update] Tragic Tuesday:
Head-on crash in Volo Tuesday morning injured two motorists.

Be careful out there, everyone.

Filed under: Road Conditions, , , , , ,

Potholes: portals to the center of the Earth

There is a pothole on the Tri-State Tollway in the second-to-rightmost lane, south of the Deerfield Road exit. This pothole is narrow but dangerous. Flying over it at 65 MPH, you’ll barely feel a jostle. But hit it at the “right spot” during the rush hour crawl at 10MPH and it’ll feel like you’ve just driven over a moon crater. This stretch of I-94 is under construction, so the hole should eventually be patched, but be aware.

There’s just something about the Tri-State and potholes. Last winter, several of them opened up between Route 60 and Route 22. There must be something about the paving material, coupled with heavy truck traffic, that makes this road surrender under wintry duress.

Chicago’s potholes are legendary. Potholes resumed their reign of terror over Lake Shore Drive in December, leaving injuries to cars and people in their wake.

Ordinary citizens can fight back by joining Operation Pothole – otherwise known as a web page with links to city, county and state resources. The city is tackling potholes head-on:

[Repair crews are] referencing a new, GPS-based, real-time map of more than 1,000 potholes. The map is based on the same city maps used to fight crime, only this time, the bad guy is the potholes that are phoned in to 311.

As for our lovely suburbs, the pothole problem is generally not as extensive but the buggers are still there. A Route 41 pothole took out my tire on a wet winter night in 2006 (note to motorists: electronic tire pressure monitors are wonderful things).

Lake County potholes can be reported to the municipality, the county, or the state. Provide as much information about the pothole as you can: name of street, name of closest cross-street, number of busted hubcaps lying on the shoulder near it (we call these “the pothole’s way of scrapbooking”) – anything that sticks in mind.

Filed under: Road Conditions, , , ,

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