April 8, 2013

City's Project Coordination Office Enters Second Construction Season in Partnership with Utilities

City Saved and Reinvested $10 Million in 2012 After Mayor Emanuel Directed Reform Aimed at Eliminating Duplicative Work; Plans for More Savings in 2013

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Emanuel announced today that the City of Chicago’s Project Coordination Office (PCO) will enter a second construction season with the purpose of coordinating the schedules of infrastructure improvement projects of city departments and electric, gas and telecommunication utilities in an effort to eliminate duplicative work, save resources and reduce the amount of time Chicago’s streets are closed or obstructed due to construction.

Managed by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the PCO started operations in April 2012 after Mayor Emanuel ordered greater coordination of the construction schedules of the City’s infrastructure departments of CDOT and the Department of Water Management (DWM) with the utilities of ComEd, Peoples Gas, cable television and telephone companies.

The result was a savings of more than $10 million to the City in 2012 from street and sidewalk restoration work that was performed by private utilities.  This work included 1,224 ADA sidewalk ramps, approximately 7 miles or 55 blocks of sidewalk replacement and approximately 10 miles or 77 blocks of residential street resurfacing.

“By partnering with utilities and scheduling projects simultaneously, we are saving money and ensuring our resources are not wasted,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “Underground infrastructure improvements are necessary, but should be done as quickly and efficiently, and with as little disruption to our roadways, as possible.”

Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago infrastructure improvement program, DWM plans to replace 75 miles of water mains and 17 miles of sewer mains, as well as line 49 miles of sewers in 2013. CDOT, contractors and the utilities plan to resurface 64 miles of arterial streets, 130 miles of residential streets and 20 miles of alleys in 2013. DWM will also resurface up to 60 miles of streets this year.

“Through the use of new mapping technology and an increased level of cooperation, the City and our partner utilities have worked together to increase the amount of infrastructure improvements while reducing the time and instances when our streets are torn up for construction,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “We look forward to a productive and cost-effective 2013 construction season.”

Before permits are issued to open a city street for utility or department infrastructure improvement work, the construction schedule is brought through the PCO to determine if there are any conflicts with other entities’ construction schedules.   If two or more utilities or departments plan to excavate the same street in the near future, the projects are coordinated so that the street is opened only once to allow all of the needed work to be done at once.

Then, by coordinating the restoration of the street between the entities involved, all parties end up saving resources, time and money, which can be put into additional infrastructure improvement work.