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City’s street maintenance program rolls into year 6

Nearly 200 roads around the city are up for improvements. The work would be part of the city’s Street Preventative Maintenance Program (SPMP), which is now in its sixth year. The recommendations for 2019 were presented at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Since the start of the SPMP in 2014, the city says progress has been made by increasing the amount of streets that are in good condition.

“It’s close to ten percent in each of the arterial and collector streets, and about four percent for locals,” explained Valerie Gray, executive director of Public Works.

Each street is graded on a pavement condition index or PCI. Those scores are based on 20 different criteria, including cracks, potholes, bumps, sags and other signs of distress. Streets with lower scores require the most attention.

All classifications of streets — arterial, collector and residential — receive maintenance through the SPMP. The work is distributed by district and need. That’s been the basis since the start of the program.

However, Gray said the city wants to change the work done by contractors.

“They will no longer do seals,” she said as part of the plan proposal. “That’s where we had the problem with the performance, as well as the wear of the seal on the ground.”

Gray also said the seal coats were not holding up well on high-traffic roads, like the arterial and collector streets. As a result, the plan recommends that the city’s Street Operations department exclusively do seal coats. Contractors would continue with other treatments, including an ultra-thin method designed to make high volume roads last longer.

But at least one council member questioned if that was the right move.

“You have confidence that even though we didn’t get the performance we wanted to from the contractors in doing seals … that we’re going to get better performance from them on using this ultra-thin method?” Rudy Garza, at-large council member, asked.

Gray responded with an emphatic “yes,” pointing out that there had only been problems with the contractors’ previous seal coat work.

Council members only heard about this plan at this meeting. They’re scheduled to take action on it at their June 11 meeting.

If you’re interested to find out which streets are on this year’s maintenance plan, click here to find it on the city’s website. The attachments on the page are listed in alphabetical order and by the district.

You can find updates on all of the city’s major street programs, including the latest on reconstruction, on its street project status update page.

Nikela Pradier

Nikela Pradier

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