Two years of capital improvements identified in Chicago Works Infrastructure Plan

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

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The 2023-24 Chicago Works Plan sets out the next phase of a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar infrastructure plan for Chicago’s 77 communities.

Over the next two years, the focus will be on decades of underinvestment in Chicago’s infrastructure by prioritizing projects that improve the ways we move across the city and increase environmental resiliency.

“Ultimately, the goal of this multi-year initiative is to thoughtfully invest in our City’s collective wealth—our streets, sidewalks, bridges, and waterfronts, etc.—to uplift the quality of life for all Chicago residents,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “We’re heading into year three of our first five-year plan and, already, residents are experiencing the benefits of this work with enhanced street safety, cleaner waterways, and improved public facilities throughout our city.”

The 2023-2024 plan includes:

  • Bridges and Viaducts: $114.2 million—20 bridge replacement projects, $47 million for bridge repairs, $8.3 million to rehabilitate 7 underpasses annually; $12 million to reconstruct two viaducts.
  • Streets and Alleys: $251.7 million—residential and arterial street resurfacing and reconstruction of WPA streets.
  • Street Lighting: $79.3 million—replacement of 200 blocks of residential lighting and 100 blocks of arterial lighting.
  • Traffic Signals: $81.1 million—modernize historically underfunded traffic signal system with 60 full intersection replacements, critical intersection signal modifications, traffic signal interconnectedness, and battery back-ups.
  • Sidewalks and Pedestrian Right-of-Way: $64.1 million—sidewalk repair (hazardous, vaulted, shared sidewalk programs, ADA ramps, curb and gutter, and alley aprons).
  • Complete Streets: $58 million—new bike lanes, improvements to priority bus routes and Vision Zero pedestrian safety projects, $13.9 million for pavement markings, $166 million for 17 streetscape projects including those in Invest South/West Corridors, and $6.0 million for public art projects.
  • Waterways & Pathways: $85 million—reconstruction of one mile of lakeshore encompassing Morgan Shoal and engineering of the Promontory Point. $48 million towards the construction of the Englewood Trail.
  • Facilities: $197.7 million—renovations and upgrades to public facilities such as eDpartment of Family and Supportive Service centers, Chicago Department of Public Health locations, Chicago Public libraries, and dozens of non-public facing facilities. This budget also includes environmental remediation of City-owned land and demolition of hazardous buildings.
  • Equipment: $153.5 million—addressing City’s aging fleet including purchasing over 280 light and medium duty electric vehicles, $107.8 million to fund the City’s IT Modernization efforts, $14.0 million for public safety cameras, and $2.2 million for bunker gear.
  • Lead Service Line Replacement: $60.0 million–funding backstop for the 4,000-5,000 annual leaks and brakes that will require public and private lead service lines to be replaced starting January 1, 2023.
  • Economic Development: $40.0 million—catalytic grants to help economic growth along disinvested commercial corridors.

“These infrastructure investments make Chicago a stronger, safer city and improve quality of life for residents,” said Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gia Biagi. “The next phase of the capital plan will help us continue to move quickly and plan for long-term projects that spur economic growth and job creation in every Chicago community.”

To learn more about the Chicago Works program, including latest updates and employment and training opportunities, check out www.chicago.gov/ChicagoWorks.

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