Mayor Rahm Emanuel has unveiled a $7 billion infrastructure plan he says will create jobs for roughly 30,000 unemployed Chicagoans.
In a speech delivered at the Chicagoland Laborers’ Training and Apprentice Center Thursday morning, Emanuel introduced the redevelopment plan, called "Building a New Chicago."
“Whether it is renewing our parks or repairing our pipes, repaving our roads or rebuilding our rails, retrofitting our buildings or revitalizing our bridges, we must restore Chicago’s core,” said Mayor Emanuel, according to a release from his office.
The infrastructure initiative stems from the new Chicago Infrastructure Trust announced by Emanuel and former President Bill Clinton earlier this month, according to the New York Times. The fund directs outside investments, savings from cost-cutting, energy-efficient retrofitting and profits from user fees towards redevelopment projects.
Projects that will be funded by this trust include expansions at O'Hare Airport and improvements to city streets, public schools and community colleges, parks, water systems and renovations of several key Chicago Transit Authority stations, NBC Chicago reports. The projects will create tens of thousands of jobs, according to Emanuel's office.
One of the first Infrastructure Trust projects is a $225 million energy efficiency initiative, which would impact 127 government buildings, creating nearly 2,000 construction jobs, the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this month. The projects are expected to reduce the city's energy consumption by $20 million, savings that will be used to repay investors.
“You cant have a 21st-century economy on a 20th-century foundation without holding yourself back,” Emanuel told the Times in a previous interview about the city's infrastructure improvement plans.