By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter plans to boost by about one-quarter the number of miles of Philadelphia streets that will be repaved in the coming year. And the focus will be on smaller streets in the neighborhoods.
As Philadelphians finish digging out from this past week’s snowfall, they may find new cracks and potholes in their aging streets. So they may be pleased to know that the mayor’s new budget boosts the spending on repaving streets from the current $16 million to $20 million.
“It will allow us to do probably about 25% more streets than we can do this year,” says Streets Commissioner David Perri.
In fact, the number of miles of streets to be repaved in the fiscal year that begins July first will go from 66 miles to 85, and Perri says those extra 19 miles will be in the neighborhoods.
“That budget increase is for the city’s local street network,” he says. “So its mainly residential streets.”
And Perri says the paving is not patchwork — a full inch-and-a-half of the old road is milled off, and then a fresh inch-and-a-half of roadway is put down.
“It’s beyond pothole repair. It’s for milling an putting a new surface on city streets,” he says. “Having the streets repaved, it gives them a tighter surface, and prevents potholes from forming. The last couple of winters have been really touch on our street network. And this money is coming at the right time.”
The extra money is subject to approval of city council, though they’re unlikely to argue.