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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Pothole Beneath Railroad Viaduct On 59th Street Has Been Shredding Tires, And Drivers Want Answers – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) — JoAnn Blalock Davis lost her tires leaving church – and she’s not alone.

On Monday night, CBS 2’s Tara Molina looked into a pothole under a railroad viaduct at the edge of West Englewood that is so bad, at one point there were damaged cars lined up and down the street after driving over it.

Molina looked into the issue and who is responsible.

Just setting up her shot for this story Monday, Molina and her crew saw another car lose a tire to the pothole on 59th Street address between Western and Hoyne avenues, and this isn’t a new problem. People said it’s been there for a while, and some know to avoid it.

We found Craig Jensen stuck on the side of the road, dealing with two flat tires and a headache.

“I’m screwed because I have two tires gone and both of them are the sidewalls,” Jensen said. “Now I have to buy two brand new tires.”

And that was all because he drove over that pothole.

“With all the cars I’ve seen besides me, they have to know about this,” he said.

Jensen was talking about all of the others who’ve lost a tire to that infernal thing. Blalock Davis was another one of those people.

“My tires were ripped apart from hitting this manhole,” she said.

Blalock Davis reached out to us after losing two tires while leaving church on Sunday.

“The vibrations of it felt like the bottom of my car fell out,” she said.

Blalock Davis said she called about her tires and the damage to her car, with the fix a financial strain during an already difficult time…

“311 says you got to go to a police station, then you got to file a report, then you got to file a claim,” she said.

And Blalock Davis said she couldn’t even get a straight answer about who’s responsible for the road – the city, or CSX, which owns the tracks above the viaduct.

So we looked into that, reaching CSX and the Chicago Department of Transportation.

CSX got right back to Molina, explaining everything above the road is their property, but the roadway and sidewalk is Chicago’s responsibility:


“Per our conversation, roadway repairs are the responsibility of the road authority. The public can contact CSX directly about all non-emergency railroad property concerns online at www.csx.com/tellcsx and a company representative will respond to the inquiry as soon as possible.”

A representative CDOT later confirmed that information, and said they were sending a crew to fix it immediately.

“It’s very irresponsible and it needs to be taken care of,” Blalock Davis said.

“I just can’t see that this is the first time they’ve known about this,” Jensen said. “I don’t get it.”

Reps for CSX said that they know about the issue, they plan to reach out to the city with their own concerns – since so many trucks come through the area.

CBS 2 checked out the pothole at 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday, and it had not yet been fixed, but by 2:30 p.m., the pothole had been filled.


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