The initial phase of the project includes a goal to rebuild 70 miles of water mains, reported The New York Times. By the time the 10-year period is over, the city hopes to have replaced 900 miles of pipes out of the 4,300 miles that weave underneath Chicago streets, the Times reported.
The city’s Water Management Department typically begins its construction season in March, but workers are braving the winter weather to make sure the project stays on pace. The mayor has requested that the department more than double its work rate, according to the article.
The costly effort comes at a time when Emmanuel has been cutting the city’s budget. Cuts to the payroll arm of the Water Management Department have kept operating expenses at a steady $250 million a year, the Times reported. Around $225 million annually has been put towards upgrading the water system and sewers.
–Photo by Ryan Pikkel, Flickr Creative Commons