A 28 percent increase in the number of claims filed of damage with the City Council during the first eight months of 2018 as compared with the same period in 2017 will force city leaders to dig deep to pay for the damage.

Finance officials filed more than 240 claims of damage to vehicles at the City Council meeting on Thursday. That’s the most in a single month since March, the traditional start of Chicago’s unofficial pothole season.

Caused by Chicago’s frequent freeze-and-thaw-cycles, potholes are the bain of many Chicago drivers — as well as officials hoping to be re-elected.


Tori Joseph
, a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said city officials have “a strong commitment towards improving road conditions.

City crews have resurfaced 175 miles of streets and filled 222,958 potholes, bringing the total filled this year to 386,672, Joseph said.

City Clerk Anna Valencia’s office processes damage claims of as much as $2,000 to repair flat tires, bent wheels and out-of-whack alignments. The claims head to the City Council’s Finance Committee, which approves payment as part of its routine monthly agenda.

Drivers can file claim forms online at chicityclerk.com along with a copy of the police report as well as a paid repair bill or two estimates.

About six months later, drivers will get a check in the mail for about half — under the theory that any damage is at least partly the fault of the person behind the wheel.

According to the National Weather Service, the average temperature from December 2017 through February 2018 was 1.1 degrees above the normal temperature between 1981 to 2010. More than 30.2 inches of snow fell at O’Hare International Airport, 2.1 inches more than normal.

In 2016-17, however, the average temperature was 4.2 degrees higher than normal. Only 18.3 inches of snow fell, 9.8 inches less than normal.