ELKHART -

Elkhart's expanded street paving program continues to repair the damage left by last winter's cold and snow.

The city has already spent nearly three times what it usually spends to fix problem pavement.

Crews have been working on road paving projects since this spring. There are quite a few more roads than usual needing attention, because of the toll taken by the long, cold winter.

"Coming out of this winter, looking over our streets, naturally we found an awful lot of damage that was caused, by a very extreme winter season," Mayor Dick Moore said.

Earlier efforts to patch some of them, were affected by a fair amount of rain.

"Some of the times we couldn't get out to patch a lot of it, and a lot of the cold patch, or even some of the hot patch, we'd done earlier in the year, is coming out," Street Commissioner Marty Morgan said.

So the city had to up the ante on efforts to pave more streets than usual.

In years past, the city of Elkhart would spend roughly $1 million on repaving projects around the Elkhart, but because of the lengthy, brutal and cold weather that  we had and the effect it had on the roads around here, the amount is now up to $2.7 million this time around.

Money used by the city, as well as private contractors, to get the paving work completed.

"In fact, both of our paving programs are about two thirds completed," Moore said. "The street department program needs to get done because it will soon be time to pick up the leaves and there's no time for paving while you are picking up the leaves."

The Elkhart Street Department will continue its other duties, as well as paving. That leaves the private contractors to concentrate solely on paving.

"We are still do sidewalks and sweeping and such that we normally do, but we are paying a lot of attention to our paving this year," Morgan said.