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Chattanooga Street Blog

Chattanooga Street Blog

This Is Not a Pothole (Anymore)

February 01, 2018

Blythe Bailey - Administrator, Chattanooga Department of Transportation

According to Chicago artist, Jim Bachor, “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live: Everyone hates potholes.”

Pothole 1

Is this a pothole? (Credit: Jim Bachor)

But Bachor has spent the last four years trying to make potholes something that Chicagoans love. He started filling potholes with artful mosaics in 2013 and has done about twenty mosaics each year since. Now he periodically accepts suggestions from his 30k instagram followers for pothole project candidates in a way that could be called a playful form of guerilla 311.

So this year, on the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, when the City of Chattanooga committed to fifty volunteer projects as a part of our MLK Day of Service, CDOT’s Jonathan Susman went to work identifying potential creative projects that might meet our department’s mission. Jonathan met Chyela Rowe, a professional arts therapist, who had already volunteered to lead the fish mosaic project on our Riverwalk. She agreed to install Chattanooga’s first pothole mosaic after working with volunteers on the Riverwalk project, and I was thrilled to be the volunteer assigned to help her.

The process is pretty simple. Cone off a small area, mix and place concrete, place the mosaic into the wet concrete, and clean off the excess. The process was similar to Bachor’s. I had done some concrete mixing myself, so I brought the tools, mixed and placed the concrete and together we filled the pothole. Thank you to Chyela for your creativity, expertise, and willingness to volunteer so much of your time toward making our streets great places to be.

Pothole 2

Not any more

Blog Archive:

December 05, 2017 - Are Two Ways Better Than One?

October 17, 2017 - Smart City

September 12, 2017 - Park(ing) Day

November 2016 - Introduction to the Chattanooga Street Blog

Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street, Suite 3030 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Office Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm
Phone: (423) 643-5950

Request new or report problems with existing traffic control devices by calling 311, (423) 643-6311, or by visiting CHA311.com.

Brian May