Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he would rather build new roads than pave the old ones.
To combat Chicago's persistent pothole issues after an especially harsh winter, Emanuel announced Thursday he plans to expand the summer street paving program.
"In four years, we will have resurfaced nearly a quarter of Chicago’s 4,600 miles of streets,” Emanuel said. “We are building a new Chicago through the critical investment in our infrastructure and improving the quality of life in every community.”
Emanuel aims to resurface a total of 333 miles of arterial and neighborhood streets and alleys in 2014.
The Chicago Department of Transportation plans to repave 85 miles of arterial streets, 90 miles of residential streets and five miles of alleys. Emanuel said local utilities expect to repave 20 miles of streets as part of their infrastructure work.
"It's a little more distance than Chicago to St. Louis," Emanuel said. "That's how many miles of roads will be paved in Chicago this season."
Emanuel said it's nearly double than the 175 miles paved in 2011.
As for who pays for it, Emanuel said much of the funding will come from the state of Illinois, which will contribute $14 million. The remaining $8 million will come from selected Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and Corporate Fund savings.
“Communities throughout Illinois need transportation improvements and jobs, and this critical investment helps accomplish both,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “Following this difficult winter, I am proud that we are able to coordinate with the City of Chicago on projects that will improve the quality of life for residents throughout the city.”