Mayor Emanuel Directs CDOT to Step Up Paving and Pothole Patching Efforts in Response to Harsh Winter Of 2019

March 3, 2019

City is Assigning Additional Crews to Attack Potholes; Mayor Sets Goal of 315 Miles for Repaving This Construction Season

Mayor’s Press Office     312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that in response to this winter’s harsh temperature swings, he has called for an aggressive paving season in 2019 with an overall target of 315 miles of street resurfacing planned, up from 310 miles paved in 2018. City agencies have identified the first 100 miles of residential and arterial paving locations. Repaving will begin as soon as weather allows and the asphalt plants re-open. He has also directed the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) to assign more crews to pothole patching.

“We’ve made great progress repairing the condition of our roadways over the last eight years, repaving more than 2,160 miles of streets all across Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “But we know this harsh winter season has taken a toll. And that’s why we are setting a high bar for this repaving season, with the goal of resurfacing at least 315 miles of streets this year. And we are also deploying more pothole crews to attack the problem head on.”

“CDOT has identified the first 45 miles of arterial streets scheduled to be resurfaced this year,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said. “Thanks to the strong commitment of Mayor Emanuel for investing in our infrastructure through the Building a New Chicago Program, we are steadily improving the condition of roads in every part of the City.”

The repaving work will be done by the CDOT and the Department of Water Management (DWM), along with sister agencies and utility companies that pave roads after completing utility improvements such as better gas, electric, and telecommunications services and water and sewer upgrades.

In addition to the major arterial roadways CDOT plans to resurface this year, it has also identified residential streets and alleys for resurfacing this construction season. The Department is working with Aldermen to determine the best locations for resurfacing additional residential streets in 2019.

Newly paved roads are less likely to develop potholes, so it makes sense to resurface and maintain Chicago’s streets and alleys on a regular basis. However, in a winter such the one we’re having this year, with dramatic swings in temperature and precipitation mixing rain, sleet, ice and snow (sometime in a 24 hour period), potholes are going to develop.

Since paving cannot start until next month, CDOT is working is working with its unions to increase the number of employees working on pothole repairs. Starting the first full week of March, there will be an additional 26 workers on seven new pothole crews. That will bring to the total number of crews working on multiple shifts, including weekends and overnights to at least 35 on weekdays.

To ensure the City is making the most efficient use of resources possible, it 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 $152 million since 2012.

The following are some of the main arterial routes slated for resurfacing by CDOT so far in 2019:

• Sheridan Rd. – from Devon Ave. to Touhy Ave. (1 mile)
• Broadway – Gunnison St. to Foster Ave. (.65 miles)
• Foster Ave. – East River Rd. to Harlem Ave. (2 miles)
• Dearborn St. – Madison St. to Polk St. (.65 miles)
• Kedzie Ave. – Jackson Ave. to Ogden Ave. (1.35 miles)
• Austin Blvd. – Lake St. to North Ave. (1.45 miles)
• 31st St. – Lawndale Ave. to Western Ave. (1.7 miles)
• 51st St. – Millard Ave. to Kedzie Ave. (.57 miles)
• Lafayette Ave. – Marquette Rd. to 79th St. (1.50 miles)
• 119th St – Ashland Ave. to Halsted St. (1 mile)

After working late into fall to install new water and sewer pipes, DWM plans to begin its spring paving as early as possible. These are some of the locations slated, among the 45 miles ready to be paved this spring:
• Neva Ave. – Grand Ave. to Armitage (.45 miles)
• Commercial – 95th St. to 100th St. (.65 miles)
• Long, Cortez, Iowa – Division/Central, Long (1 mile)

Since Mayor Emanuel took office, the City has resurfaced more than 2,165 miles of streets and alleyways, almost half of the City’s 4,600 miles of streets.

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