The summer maintenance program for city streets has been mapped out and will begin as soon as the city's contractor can get in place, according to City Manager Marc Maxwell.
Every year, in addition to street rebuilds, the city also has a summer paving program that is viewed as an extensive form of maintenance. It adds a new two-inch asphalt cap that goes on a street that, to the driver, looks and feels like a new surface.
This type of maintenance, Maxwell said, extends the life of a street another 10 to 15 years. The life of a street is usually about 40 years, and he anticipates having to do a couple of overlays during that time.
“There are rebuilds and there is something in between pot hole filling and rebuilds — that's overlays” he said. “Every year, we do a batch of that.”
Maxwell said the struggle to maintain the streets is a never-ending battle.
“A road gets to a point where crack sealing is insufficient and you need to seal the top of it off again because water is a street's worst enemy when it makes its way to the sub base and begins eroding it,” he explained. “Then you've lost the street.”
The constant increase in the costs of materials puts the city even further behind the curve in maintaining streets.
“We dramatically increased the level of spending on streets 15 years ago and even at that, we were still funding street replacement at about half the rate that streets decay,” he said. “Because, frankly, there's not money for more and not a willingness to raise taxes. We've rocked along like that over the years and today, prices have gone up, and we're a little less than half of the rate of deterioration.”
This year's plan calls for overlays on several streets. Those streets include:
n Freeman Street from Como to Carter.
n Live Oak Street west from Helm Lane.
n Davis Street north of Atkins to Houston.
n Kyle Street from Davis to Gilmer.
n Spence Street from Fisher to Gilmer.
n Vonda Drive from Wright to the concrete portion of Vonda.
n Terry Lane from Azalea to the dead end.
“We plan out our capital projects in advance. We did our water project on the interstate, the water project on South Broadway and we are about to do Davis and Connally around the new city hall,” Maxwell said. “Then comes Bill Bradford Road and the water line on FM 2285.”
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