Pittsburgh considers adding $1.78 million for paving streets this year



The administration of Mayor Bill Peduto has put together a proposal that would add around $1.78 million to the city’s anemic paving budget, which could mean up to 11 more miles of streets will see fresh asphalt this year.

A bill introduced before Pittsburgh City Council today would pool money from several line items — including some for projects that had already been completed but had money left over. Other money was taken from line items for capital projects that the city does not plan to start this year.

The bill will be discussed in a preliminary meeting next week and could be voted on as soon as two weeks from today.

If the bill passes, the city would add to the $7.2 million already budgeted and would be able to pave 40 miles of streets instead of 29.


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Guy Costa, chief of operations, said today in a news conference that this year’s unusually harsh winter took a serious toll on city streets.

“We had streets that literally disintegrated,” he said.

Though the city has yet to finalize its paving list — developed based on reports from inspectors, complaints to 311 and observations by public works employees — work has already begun. Mr. Costa said work could begin today on the notoriously pothole-ridden Brookline Boulevard, which will get several blocks of new asphalt.

He also said the city was prioritizing streets along the route of the Pittsburgh Marathon so they will be ready for Sunday’s race.

Even if the city gets to 40 miles this year, that’s far short of the 80 to 100 miles it needs to pave annually if it is to keep up with the 10-year lifespan of its 866 miles of asphalt streets. The city has fallen short of that threshold for at least a decade, paving between 24 and 65 miles a year since 2002.

“We can’t get to every possible street that needs paved,” Mr. Costa said.

You can read the legislation here and here.


Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @Moriahbee.

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