CDOT Announces Paving Season Off To An Early Start Thanks To Improved City Streets And Warmer Winter

April 5, 2016

City Identifies First 55 Miles of Streets to be Repaved in 2016

Mike Claffey     312.744.0707

Susan Hofer    312.742-2006

Chicago has Repaved More than a Quarter of Streets in Last Four Years as Part of Mayor Emanuel’s Push to Deliver 21st Century Infrastructure in City’s Neighborhoods

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced today the 2016 paving season is off to an early start due to a combination of factors, including fewer potholes, improved coordination with Aldermen and the relatively mild winter Chicago. The City has identified the first 55 miles of streets to be paved in the Arterial Street Resurfacing Program (see attached map) and the first steps of the repaving efforts – known as milling operations – are underway in Chicago neighborhoods. CDOT plans to begin paving later this week.

 “We are getting off to an early start in 2016, building on the progress made to improve neighborhood streets across the city over the last few years,” Mayor Emanuel said. “We’re going to take advantage of this opportunity to drive towards our ultimate goal of ensuring residents throughout Chicago are driving to work and school on streets that are paved and passable.”

 As part of CDOT’s arterial resurfacing program, crews were out last week milling, or grinding the surface, of stretches of Halsted from 41st Street to Archer Avenue on the South Side and on Caldwell from Devon to Cicero on the North Side. Laying of a new asphalt surface is expected to begin this week on stretches that have been milled.  

 “CDOT has laid the groundwork to get off to a fast start for the new paving season,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said. “We’re seeing fewer potholes in our streets this winter, and this means we can turn our attention earlier in the season from patching to paving, giving Chicagoans in every neighborhood the quality of life they deserve.” 

 The number of potholes reported through the 311 system in the first three months of 2016 is down 30 percent compared to 2015.  The reduced number of potholes has allowed CDOT forces to begin turning their attention street repaving operations earlier than they have in recent winters.

In addition, warmer temperatures this season means asphalt plants began producing hot asphalt, which is used for resurfacing, by late March instead of mid- to late-April. 

Also this year, CDOT moved up the calendar for the Aldermanic planning process through which residential streets are identified for resurfacing, meaning that crews can start work earlier in the season.   

Among the first 55 miles of arterial streets that will be resurfaced this year are the following:

  • Martin Luther King Drive from Cermak Road to 37th St. (1.9 miles)
  • Martin Luther King Drive from 87th St. to 95th St. (1 mile)
  • California Ave. from 79th St. to 87th St. (1 mile)
  • S. Michigan from 103rd St. to 111th St. (1 mile)
  • 43rd St. from State Street to Cottage Grove (1 mile)
  • Harrison St. from Kedzie to Damen (1.5 miles)
  • 26th St. from Sacramento to Western (0.75 mile)
  • Kostner Ave. from North Ave. to Chicago Ave. (1 mile)
  • Jackson Blvd. from Austin to Laramie and Pulaski to Hamlin (total 1.25 miles)
  • Central Park Ave. from Roosevelt to Cermak and 26th St. to 31st St (total 1.5 miles) 
  • Kostner from North Ave. to Chicago Ave. (1 mile)
  • Irving Park Road from Cumberland to Forest Preserve Ave. (1.3 miles)

CDOT, the Department of Water Management and private utilities paved 297 miles of city streets last year, pushing the total to more than 1,350 miles repaved since Mayor Emanuel took office in 2011.

To ensure the City is not only increasing investment in street repaving projects, but also investing more efficiently, the City has improved coordination on infrastructure projects.  Through CDOT’s Project Coordination Office, City infrastructure departments and utilities have worked together to reduce the amount of project conflicts that would require opening up a street more than once. These coordination efforts have led to a savings of $73 million since 2012.

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