City may add 11 miles to its paving program

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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 Tuesday 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.

If the bill passes, the city would add to the $7.2 million already budgeted. The additional money would enable the city to pave 40 miles of streets instead of 29.

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. 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.

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