Repairing Residential Streets on Tuesday's City Council Agenda

City Council members will meet Tuesday to consider a number of items, including a long-range study on repairing city streets.

It's a question of what to work on first. As the City struggles with thousands of miles of city streets in need of repair, deciding on when to fix them and how to pay for those repairs will be center stage for consideration.

The City Engineering Department says more than half of our city streets qualify as local and residential, or non-arterial, and more than half of all residential streets are in poor condition. An estimate made in 2010 said it would cost $469 million to fix those residential streets.

That would have translated to an extra 40-cents per $100 valuation for all city property owners.

"In the past, we've included small portions of residential in the bond program," said Dan Biles of the City Engineering Department. "For 2012, what we wanted to focus on is trying to get the most impact to the worst streets that impact the most people. So those have to be ones that have high traffic counts. They're arterials. They're collectors, like Navigation, like Staples, as opposed to the residential streets."

Council will also discuss updating an ordinance that allows residents to pay to repair their street. For instance, Ivy Lane is an example of residents pitching in to pay for their street repairs. While the average cost for such repairs could range from $1,500-$2,000, Biles said the length of the street and the number of residents would determine the cost.

Council will discuss annual funding options for street repairs ranging from $90 million a year for 10 years, to $10 million a year for 90 years. Biles said the goal is for a street to last at least 30 years before needing to be rebuilt.


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