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Mayor Emanuel Touts $7 Billion Infrastructure Program

Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses city infrastructure projects at the Wells Street Bridge, after crews finished replacing the southern half of the span on March 11, 2013. (Credit: CBS)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses city infrastructure projects at the Wells Street Bridge, after crews finished replacing the southern half of the span on March 11, 2013. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel said this morning’s completion of the replacement of half the Wells Street Bridge was just one example of what’s to come, as he prepares to detail projects that will be part of his $7 billion “Building A New Chicago” plan this summer.

The mayor said his plan — first announced a year ago — would put 30,000 people to work over three years to build new roads; lay more CTA ‘L’ tracks; replace underground water pipes; and build new schools, parks and airport runways.

“We’ll be paving enough roads to literally build a road from Chicago to Toledo, Ohio; enough water pipe from Chicago to Davenport, Iowa,” he said.

One thing the mayor was not addressing at this point was how he plans to pay for all his plans. He said his Build a New Chicago plans would allow the city to thrive economically.

The mayor talked about the long-term plans at the intersection of Wacker Drive and Wells Street, where Brown and Purple Line CTA trains were once again rolling over the Wells Street Bridge on Monday.

Half of the bridge was replaced over the past nine days, and the other half will be replaced starting at the end of next month.

“In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be laying out the entire summer’s Build Chicago plan, putting thousands and thousands of people to work building our roads, runways, more track lines, more systems, more water systems, more parks, more schools,” the mayor said.