A new approach to rebuilding Philadelphia's infrastructure

The Kenney administration plans to withdraw bills that would guide the infrastructure project known as "Rebuild."

Pat Loeb
May 11, 2018 - 4:32 pm
City Hall

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Frustrated by Philadelphia City Council's lack of action, the Kenney administration plans to withdraw bills that would guide the half-a-billion dollar infrastructure project known as "Rebuild." Council has had the legislation since September without voting it out of committee.

Rebuild officials have been back and forth to council numerous times, answering questions and last week producing a signed memorandum of understanding with the trade unions, promising membership for minority and women workers hired on the project. Still, council's "Committee of the Whole" has held the legislation, not yet satisfied with the leverage it has over the hiring process. 

In a surprise move, the administration says it's giving up and putting the entire program into the capital budget. Managing director Mike DiBerardinis says the mayor is committed to using the project to create union jobs in the neighborhoods where the work will take place but simply can't wait any longer to get started.

"There's a tremendous need in our rec centers and our libraries and our parks for investment," he said. "so we want to get moving."

DiBerardinis says some facilities may not be able to open without the renovations and large projects require a long planning stage, so he hopes the project can now begin this summer.