Crews scramble to repair roads along 500 Festival Mini Marathon route


The 500 Festival Mini Marathon is just two weeks away and runners aren't the only ones hitting the pavement in preparation for the 13.1 mile race.

So are public works crews - or at least they will be over the next week. The rough winter has left parts of the race route in rough shape.

Lola Cavanaugh, who lives on the near west side just off the course, said, "I think the roads are terrible, very terrible. A lot of people are getting in bad chuck holes and it does a lot of damage to your cars."

But Cavanaugh worries about mini marathoners as well.

"If you run and don't see (a pothole) you could get hurt. It might be a broken ankle or toe, who knows?" she said.

Thursday afternoon, Speedway crews were working a bad stretch along Olin Avenue or mile 9 of the race. Some of the large crevices took several, heaping shovels full of hot mix to fill.

Michigan and 10th Streets also had a fair share of deep ruts and potholes.

We shared pictures with Festival spokesperson Megan Bulla, who nodded, "It's been a rough winter."

But Bulla said race participants needn't worry.

"Every year we take a group and drive the course to make sure it's ready about 10 days prior and if we see potholes, we work with DPW to address them," she said.

While Bulla acknowledged that the potholes this year are "more intense and more frequent," she said, "We'll make sure things are as smooth as possible for the road race."

Given conditions, crews just might be in for a marathon session themselves.