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Peduto Triples Paving In City, Pursuing Loftier Goals

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- If you live or spend time in the city, you've probably noticed steamrollers, asphalt trucks, and road crews paving street after street.

"This is the most paving you'll see ever in history," said Dan Gilman, Peduto's chief of staff.

It's been an all-out push this summer to catch up with years of potholes and neglect.

The city is spending $20 million dollars in paving this year compared to a $6 or $7 million annual budget in the past. That means 60 to 70 miles of resurfacing rather than a paltry 10 or 20 miles.

"The city needs it. We have 1200 of roads and there are still hundreds of miles that still need to be paved," Gilman said.

But is there a political need as well?

Mayor Peduto oftentimes takes it on the chin for spending time out of town and being captivated by national and international issues like climate change and gun control and may need to protect his flank by taking care of business back home.

Sheehan: Are you kind of countering that by doing these very visual public works projects?
Gilman: I don't think so. In government, you have to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Gilman says the mayor has improved basic services, hiring more police and firefighters, shoring up city pension funds and dedicating more money to landslides and infrastructure all while tackling those loftier issues.

"It's not just about paving it's a back to the basic governance that same time that you lead on climate change, that you lead in technology, that you protect your citizens by picking up what has been dropped in Harrisburg and DC," he said.

But nothing pleases residents and taxpayers more it seems than paving streets.

The Peduto Administration looks forward to a smooth ride during its second term.

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