CHICAGO, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Chicago street repair crews filled more than 600,000 potholes in streets and alleys in 2011, a record for the city.
A total of 569,426 street potholes were filled in 2011, 141,128 more than in 2010, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Crews also filled in 47,452 potholes in alleys, up from 31,130 in 2010, officials said.
"The condition of the streets overall has deteriorated," said Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein. "The combination of old asphalt and the blizzard of 2011 [in early February] caused a significant spike in potholes."
The transportation commission is working on a new strategy for street resurfacing that is geared toward defending against potholes, rather than just filling them.
The plan involves "demanding lower prices" from construction contractors, Klein said, and better coordinating street repairs with utility work.
"We are going to leverage the work being done over the next several years by Peoples Gas, by ComEd, the Department of Water Management to make sure we get as much done as possible versus going back two and three times to fix the same street," he said.
The pothole situation in Chicago represents part of a growing problem with deteriorating roads across Illinois, the Tribune said.
A study by the Transportation for Illinois Coalition reported that state roads are wearing out 33 percent faster than they are being repaired.
Should this trend continue, almost one of every 4 miles of roads in Illinois will be considered unacceptable for driving by 2017, the study said.