Replacing them on the road day to day are cars and trucks that can cover 100 or more miles on four gallons of gasoline, driven by motorists more concerned with their miles per gallons than their miles per hour.
While that may be great for the environment, village officials say the drop in fuel consumption represents a potential long-term decrease in motor fuel tax revenue that pays to keep up village roadways.
The MFT, a per-gallon charge levied by the State of Illinois and shared with municipalities and counties, typically funds a significant portion of Tinley Park's annual road resurfacing budget.
Vehicle stickers, red light camera fines and grants currently cover the rest of the cost of maintaining and repairing the village's 220 lane miles.
In the next fiscal year, the village intends to spend $2.2 million on 9.4 miles of road. Of that number, 2.1 miles are ranked as high-priority, 6.7 miles are ranked as medium-priority and a little more than one-half mile is ranked as low-priority.
Officials had been bracing for an estimated $4 million in road damages for fiscal year 2014-- a potential problem given the availability of less than $1.7 million in MFT funds.
"The good news is that we have not hit the tipping point yet," Village Manager Scott Niehaus told elected officials in a recent memo. "This is likely due to less damage on streets due to mild winters in the past few years."
But when the tipping point comes, village board members say they want to have sufficient funds on hand without increasing local taxes. More grants could help.
And they want staff to develop a plan that reduces expenses to the level of revenue. One way would involve eliminating some maintenance— low-priority repair—- projects.
Theoretically, Tinley Park could achieve an economy of scale by bidding its project as a component of a larger work that includes one or more other municipalities' road projects.
But Trustee Tom Staunton said last week such an arrangement would raise "the question of who goes next. You want your stuff done first."
Niehaus agreed, noting the plan would only work if each participating municipality used the same specifications.
Earlier, he told Staunton and other elected officials, The village has already lowered what it pays for resurfacing work by soliciting bids before the Illinois Department of Transportation.
"It is often the first large program put out for bid and there is still uncertainty in the market as to the availability of projects for contractors early in the season." Niehaus said.
To that end, village officials have scheduled an approval process to occur between Jan. 8 and Jan. 23 in order to be able to solicit bids in early March.