Computerized city road paving plan going slowly

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The city of Pittsburgh will not fully implement a computerized pavement management system next year, officials said today. The system, which City Council demanded last year following reports of political influence over paving, will be partially working in 2009 and fully up in 2010, said Public Works Director Guy Costa.

The city bought a $30,000 software package but is "physically not able to get all of that [road] information in" to the system this year, said Mr. Costa. The city will try to input data on perhaps 100 or 200 miles of streets that are believed to be in the direst need of fresh asphalt, and draw its paving list from that list, he said following a special council meeting on paving. Data on the full 800 miles of city streets should be in the system by 2010, he said.

"I'm not certain that we're putting enough money into doing this," said Councilman Bruce Kraus. He said some comparable cities have invested $300,000 in systems designed to ensure that paving decisions are made objectively. "I want everything to be above board, and determined by need, rather than anything else."

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review of the city's 2007 paving plan found that 46 members of the Democratic Committee and four of the nine council members were slated to get fresh asphalt on roads in front of or near their homes, sparking a council resolution demanding an objective system and Internet posting of road data. Mr. Costa said the Web posting could be done this year, "but if not, then 2010."


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