Mayor, Council Fight Over Street Paving Funds
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On Beechwood Boulevard and throughout the city, streets are beginning to look like a lunar landscape.
The city’s patching, but there’s no paving being done as the mayor and council fight over limited funds.
On Baum Boulevard in Oakland, to Darlington Road in Squirrel Hill and Fifth Avenue in Shadyside, potholes have become a menace to car and safety.
In the West End, a city patching crew struggles to keep up but can’t keep pace.
Money’s limited for patching and at this point the Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski says street paving funds are non-existent.
“Right now there is no money available in the paving program as we speak today,” he said.
The mayor and his administration blame council, saying its failure to effectively deal with the pension crisis has depleted the necessary funds. Council members scoff at this, saying there is money in the budget, but the mayor’s playing politics.
“The money’s in the bank, the asphalt’s ready to be made, let’s get the paving program going and quit being politics and paving in Pittsburgh,” said Councilman Doug Shields.
But even if council is right, the $5 or $6 million potentially available for paving is woefully insufficient. In recent years, the city’s been paving 30 miles of streets annually when it used to pave 80. This year it will pave even less.
If this dispute is resolved, paving should begin within the next few weeks, but with what little money there may be available, public works will continue to a losing battle against the decay of city streets.