Chicago Short $2.7B for Infrastructure


Chicago skyline.

Chicago needs $4.4 billion over the next five years to put its streets, bridges, and vehicles on a maintenance-and-replacement cycle, but has funding for only $1.7 billion. During a virtual meeting of the City Council’s Committee on Capital and Economic Development, Budget Director Susie Park joined her counterparts overseeing three infrastructure departments in outlining the magnitude of the capital funding shortage. 

Asset and Information Services Commissioner David Renyolds said the city has 375 “core facilities,” 145 of them public safety buildings, with 15.6 million square feet of space. One-third of that aging portfolio of buildings is 75 years old or older. Twenty-eight of those buildings are more than a century old. The oldest is more than 140 years old. 

Reynolds pegged the cost of getting into a replacement cycle, defined as replacing things before they break, at $210 million a year. In each of the last five years, he’s had 

$35 million to spend from bond proceeds and tax-increment-financing. 

Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi said the city is “doing pretty well” on resurfacing Chicago’s 1,000 miles of arterial streets. But when it comes to resurfacing the city’s 3,000 miles of residential streets, 18 to 20 percent fall into a high-need category. Bridges, viaducts, and underpasses are of greatest need. Rehab of a bridge on average is about $40 million.

Source: Chicago Sun Times