Chicago’s Department of Transportation Saves $101 Million and Finishes Construction Early
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Wednesday that the city had reached its 100-mile mark of roads paved this season. There’s the old joke that there are only two seasons in Chicago: winter and construction. And there’s truth to that. When temperatures are warm enough and the snow has melted off the roads, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) team hits the streets. This 100-mile marker is proof of all of their hard work this summer.
According to CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, this marker represents all of the work put into CDOT workers on arterial and residential streets of Chicago. On top of the mileage achieved this year[,] through CDOT’s Project Coordination Office, they’ve been able to save millions of dollars. The collaborative effort combines employees of Com Ed and People’s Gas along with members of the CDOT team which allows everyone to collectively solve infrastructure issues and minimize the times when streets are blocked or closed off. Through these efforts[,] they’ve been able to save $101 million since 2012, according to a press release.
“We have reached an important milestone in our summer paving season,” Mayor Emanuel stated in the release. “But it is not just about paving miles, it’s about improving our streets to enhance the quality of life for our residents. These are the improvements that matter to residents and the investments we’ll continue to make in our neighborhoods.”
Since 2011, CDOT, the Department of Water Management (DWM) and other utility partners have paved more than 1,700 miles of Chicago streets. According to a press release, they’re expected to have finished improving about 2,000 miles worth of roads, almost half of Chicago’s total.
Also on Wednesday Mayer Emanuel announced that CDOT crews had completed improvements on the Clark Street Bridge over the Chicago River a full 10 days ahead of schedule. Work started on the bridge to repair the road decks and sidewalks back in February and was projected to be completed by Labor Day. Traffic on the bridge as well as both sidewalks are officially reopened to vehicles and pedestrians.
“City crews worked tirelessly to finish the project 10 days ahead of schedule,” the mayor stated in the press release. “And their hard work will help alleviate congestion and deliver on our promise to provide 21st century infrastructure for the resident of Chicago.”
The Clark Street Bridge is an iconic bascule bridge, one that makes Chicago so special. Almost all of these bridges that raise and lower have been repaired by CDOT crewmembers in the last ten years. In doing so this allows these bridges to remain functional for much longer.