The City of Chicago is spending money on Mayor Daley’s construction company with no end in sight. Benchmark is pumping down basins and putting a cover on the bricks, this process is called “Manhole Relining”. You dry out a basin, and place a protective coat which should extend the life of a basin, thus saving Chicago Taxpayer’s money. I have watched this crew work on Irving Park Road and on Lawrence Avenue. This crew works very hard, so why am I concerned? I only saw supervision once in all the months of Benchmark’s work. I found only one City of Chicago employee in a City Vehicle making sure the work was done up to snuff. I only saw this city employee talk to another person on the jobsite, but never looking into the basins. So who is watching the compliance of this contract? Nobody from the City of Chicago. To make a long story short, we need to enforce contact compliance in Chicago. I am tired of money spent multiple times when the work should be done right the first time. Every bricklayer knows this work is all show if the bricks, the frames, the lids, and the basin structure are not solid. Traffic will destroy the work in short order. Also, the City of Chicago for years has used brick which crumbles when in contact with salt, and snow melting chemicals. These crews seem to work overtime every day. We will know what was done after a cold winter or when the warrantee of the work expires, but things sure look good for now. Photo by Patrick McDonough.