| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free Bridge Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

The Art of Pothole Patching

Friday, June 27, 2014

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

While potholes are the nemesis of most drivers, for Jim Bachor, they are a blank canvas awaiting his artful touch.

For over a year, the Chicago resident and artist has been filling in the city's potholes—with mosaics.

"I just think it's fun to add that little bit of spark into (an) issue that people moan about," Bachor told

Jim Bachor
Photos: Facebook / Bachor

Artist Jim Bachor has been filling Chicago's potholes with mosaics. Each costs him about $50.

His creations have included the number of a nearby auto repair shop; five- or six-digit numbers that poke fun at the amount of potholes around the city; and simply the word "pothole" surrounded by a design inspired by Chicago's flag.

Archaic Inspiration

On his website, Bachor says he is fascinated by both "ancient history" and "trying to leave your mark in this world."

Inspired by volunteer work he did on an archaeological dig in Pompeii, Bachor starting creating mosaics.

"Using the same materials, tools and methods of the archaic craftsmen, I create mosaics that speak of modern things in an ancient voice," he said.

It costs Bachor about $50 to make each mosaic, which he surrounds with orange traffic cones as they dry.

Chicago DOT takes a dim view of Bachor's efforts, calling pothole repair "a task best left to the professionals and CDOT."

"When I'm doing this kind of stuff, it's amazing the percentage of people who pay no attention," he told Fast Company.

"And then there are people who stop by and say, 'Thanks for beautifying our neighborhood.' One guy stopped to thank me and gave me a coffee and a Danish."

DOT: Thanks, But No Thanks

Bachor told the Chicago Tribune that he started filling potholes with his art over a year ago after he became annoyed by a hole in front of his house.

The newspaper then tracked down a spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation for an official reaction to the rogue road work.

The response: "The Department of Transportation continues to work diligently to fill the numerous potholes that have appeared on our streets as a result of the historic winter.

"Mr. Bachor and his art are proof that even the coldest, harshest winter cannot darken the spirits of Chicagoans. But filling potholes is a task best left to the professionals and CDOT."


Tagged categories: Artists; Asphalt; DOT; Rehabilitation/Repair; Repair materials; Roads/Highways

Comment from Gary Burke, (6/27/2014, 9:23 AM)

Looks like he is doing a better job than CDOT! Care to come over to Toledo...We also have a million of them and the way they are filled / fixed...they all open back up the next winter! it would be nice to see at lease some of the major thoroughfares replaced more often than once every 40 years weather they need it or not!!!

Comment from Gary Burke, (6/27/2014, 9:23 AM)


Comment from Gene Kube, (6/27/2014, 10:08 AM)

I doubt very seriously that the professionals and CDOT could patch any pothole for under $500.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (6/30/2014, 8:10 AM)

As of the 2009 Austin American Statesman report, filling a pothole cost $23 using State workers, and cost $129 if the work is outsourced to a contractor.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Minerals Research & Recovery

Sharpshot®XL is a new fast-cutting, low-dusting, cost-effective iron silicate abrasive. Call Patrick Conry: 502-552-5895 for details.

PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Industrial strength performance in ONE can.

Now get the durability and protection of two components in one can: Amercoat® ONE, PSX® ONE and Sigmadur ONE.

Covestro (formerly Bayer)
Bayer MaterialScience is now Covestro.

The pioneering spirit of our first 150 years will drive the bold vision of our next 150: to develop the industry’s most innovative coatings solutions.

Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.

Julbert, Inc.
Built from the ground up.

Dust Collectors Available!
We deliver to your Jobsite!
Built Tough! Priced Right!
PH: 208-437-2100

SAFE Systems, Inc.
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches

Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.

Ethox Chemicals LLC
Ethoflex® ER instantly upgrades your epoxy!

The only epoxy additive that improves flexibility, corrosion resistance, toughness, and adhesion, without hurting pot life, cure time, or increasing VOCs.

Hempel (USA) Inc.

Efficient systems and high quality products to reduce your maintenance costs. Visit Hempel Protective for more information.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. It has no equal; only wannabees.
Contact us for your
nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802

Find BLACK BEAUTY® Abrasives

Use our online tool to search by address, city or zip code to find where you can buy BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives. Or call us toll free: 1-888-733-3646

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail