PITTSBURGH, PA - The City of Pittsburgh needs to invest in long-term and systematic changes to its roads and other infrastructure, Mayor William Peduto said today, partially through initiatives in the City’s final Act 47 recovery plan.
In the meantime City crews will do what they can with minimal funding for road upgrades and work to respond to all pothole repair requests within three business days.
“On city streets like the one behind me and many others all across Pittsburgh, you’re seeing what happens when we don’t invest long-term in protecting our infrastructure,” the Mayor said in an event on Brookline Boulevard. “This doesn’t happen only because we had a harsh winter -- even though we did -- but mostly because we haven’t invested in them wisely the past ten years.”
With the help of the Department of Innovation & Performance and partners including Carnegie-Mellon University, the city intends to adopt new technologies to study where road improvements are most needed, and install GPS systems to track where and how street sweepers, snow trucks and other city vehicles are doing work.
Most critically, however, the City is looking to its final Act 47 plan later this spring to provide a solution, the Mayor said.
“It will deal with the four major issues that will transform the city and its infrastructure: pension, debt, nonprofit payments and increasing the capital budget," he said. "We’re going to have to increase our capital budget significantly, and that won’t only apply to streets, it will be our parks, our playgrounds, our steps, our swimming pools, our urban forest.
All of the critical infrastructure has to see a significant increase in spending for the next 10 years. We’re only able to do that by staying under Act 47. We have to do it. We don’t have the opportunity not to.”
In the short-term the City only has band-aid solutions, and a small budget that will pave just 27 miles of streets this year. Hard-working employees at the Department of Public Works and 311 will help the City bridge the gap.
This winter -- the toughest in Pittsburgh in 20 years -- this city has already fielded 93% of the total pothole complaints it collected for all of 2013 and 3,200 more potholes were reported the beginning of this year over last.
Despite that -- and with the help of a revamped 311 system -- City workers cut their average pothole response time over last year. And in February they cut the response time in half.
Today the Mayor asked those workers to do more: during warm weather months, the city will will work to have all pothole complaints filled within three business days.
DPW crews will also work to “square” potholes by cutting around them before filling them with hot-mix asphalt.
City Operations Chief Guy Costa, acting Department of Public Works Director Mike Gable and DPW Supervisor Bill Crean joined the Mayor, and announced that City crews will begin re-paving Brookline Boulevard near Glenarm Avenue within two weeks, while private contractors pave other parts of the roadway. Paving in the neighborhood will be done in sections and could take two months to complete.
“The new sidewalks, the trees, the curbs, the decorative lighting, the elimination of overhanging wires -- when we’re done with this by the end of June, Brookline Boulevard is really going to shine,” Mayor Peduto said. “It will become a really incredible business district in Pittsburgh.”
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
City of Pittsburgh
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