By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The steamrollers are finally rolling in East Liberty, signally the start of paving season.

A pocked mark section of Penn Circle has been milled and is ready to go, but with only 30 miles of paving budgeted citywide will it make a dent in problem?

“There will be streets that need repairs that won’t be repaired this year,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “This is the reality of what we live under.”

The grim reality is that the city’s streets are in horrendous condition, and many – like one section of Bigelow Boulevard in Oakland – are barely drivable.

Public Works Director Mike Gable concedes that the 30 miles won’t even scratch the surface.

“We need to pave 80 to 100 miles, and we’re trying to make that commitment this year,” said Gable. “We don’t have money right now.”

There’s only $7 million budgeted, and the mayor doesn’t want to borrow any more. But he says the problem is the result of years of cutbacks and neglect and cannot be remedied in one year or two.

And while he’s trying to come up with more funds this year, he’s looking for a long-term fix.

“It’s not simply a matter of cutting other programs and shifting funds,” said Peduto. “It’s a matter of changing a system that has no management system to one that has a 10-year plan for one.”

He says that means establishing a system of evaluating the neediest and most heavily-traveled streets, and then ramping up the resurfacing.

“We have to increase our amount, not just in one given year, but on a consistent basis,” Mayor Peduto said.

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