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Chicago Construction Jobs Resurface with ARRA

Posted on May 26, 2009

The federal government is providing money that will help create several Chicago construction jobs.

The economic stimulus will provide enough funds for the City of Chicago to resurface more than 31 miles of streets, which will in turn create new jobs and sustain existing positions. The city expects to receive a total of $86 million in federal stimulus money for highway infrastructure projects.

The exact cost of the planned projects is unknown, but could be up to $50 million. The remainder of the money will be used to complete four major street reconstructions, including Chicago Avenue from Laramie to Grand, Congress Drive from Wells to Michigan, LaSalle Drive from Clark Street to Lake Shore Drive and Lake Park from 51st to 57th.

“Most of those projects are between a half-mile and mile long,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said in a press release. “Getting them done will greatly improve the quality of life for everyone who drives on them, and they are projects we would not have been able to do without the federal support. Of course, these kinds of projects also create jobs for our residents, which is a critical need right now.”

Chicago has already advertised four separate contracts for arterial street resurfacing for competitive bid. The contracts require resurfacing the most deteriorated stretches of 37 different streets. Those bids will be opened in early June, with work expected to begin during the summer construction season and each project lasting six to eight weeks.

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is helping Chicago protect our quality of life, help people who are struggling to make ends meet and create thousands of jobs,” Daley said. “The total of more than $1 billion in support we expect to receive from the federal government for many programs is a critical addition to the steps we’re taking here to help stimulate our economy and get through the worst recession in modern times.

“It has been a tough winter on Chicago streets,” he continued. “I know that, and I want to thank Chicago drivers for their patience. Overall, we have done a good job investing in infrastructure over many years by rebuilding miles of streets and sidewalks, replacing water mains and rebuilding bridges. We have been able to invest in our infrastructure to a far greater extent than most other cities. But until recently, when the General Assembly passed a capital bill, the lack of state support over the past few years had hampered our efforts.”