CHICAGO (CBS) — Spring in Chicago means asphalt paving season.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday the start of the 2017 paving season in Chicago and was joined by crews from from the Chicago Department of Transportation, who helped kick off the season in the Calumet Heights neighborhood. WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.

“Over the past five years we have repaved more than a third of Chicago’s roads and in the process, put nearly 7,000 people to work. But we are not stopping there,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We will continue investing in infrastructure improvements that will help us build a new Chicago and the foundation for our city’s future.”

The city repaved 266 miles of Chicago’s street. Mayor Emanuel said the goal this year is to repave more than 250 miles of streets.

But before they get better, they will get worse.

paving 4 Mayor Emanuel Announces The 2017 Paving Season In Chicago

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces the start of the 2017 Paving Season (WBBM/Steve Miller)

“Today you’re seeing the grinding operations: the milling of the existing asphalt street surface,” said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “That’ll be followed by adjustments to the structures and leveling of the street. And then paving after that.”

Scheinfeld and the mayor watched the beginning of the year’s repaving projects in the Calumet Heights neighborhood, where CDOT crews were grinding streets in preparation for the asphalt paving that is scheduled to follow.

“We are really pleased to be starting off here on 92nd Street,” Scheinfeld said. “We’ll be paving over the next couple of weeks from Jeffery to Essex.”

paving 3 Mayor Emanuel Announces The 2017 Paving Season In Chicago

CDOT crews kick off paving season in Calumet Heights (WBBM/Steve Miller)

The city said that since 2011, it’s repaved 1,600 miles of streets in Chicago.

The 2017 repaving season will include work on both main arterials and residential streets. Some of the scheduled main arterial routes include:
– Armitage Avenue from Kostner Avenue to Pulaski Road (0.5 miles)
– N. Broadway from Irving Park Road to Belmont Avenue (1.1 miles)
– N. Clark Streetfrom Chicago Avenue to the Chicago River Bridge (0.6 miles)
– W. Harrison Street from Ashland Avenue to Halsted Street (1 mile)
– Archer Avenuefrom 47th Street to Kedzie Avenue (0.7 miles)
– 115th Street from State Street to Cottage Grove Avenue (0.6 miles)

CDOT crews will post “no parking” signs up 24 to 48 hours before milling operations begins. Repaving is expected to last three to five days on each street. The milling is then followed by street conditioning and finally the applying of asphalt.

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