Question: How does the City determine which streets will be repaired?
Each year City engineering staff and the City’s engineering firm inspect every street as to the type/volume of traffic, and surface condition and score it accordingly. In addition to evaluating the street condition, the other infrastructure associated with the street and under the street is evaluated. A key factor is the condition of the water and sewer lines. Those areas where water and/or sewer work is necessary may receive a higher priority in the street repair schedule.
Planning water and/or sewer work with street repair makes the best use of the limited dollars available to the City for making these repairs. Streets like Superior, Beach, Des Moines, Ohio or Second Street will have more points than a street which may be dead-ended or has very little traffic.
Also important in street repair is the type of repair best suited to a given street. Use of less expensive methods, for example Chip-n-Seal or Slurry Seal, to expand street life can provide workable longevity increases versus the higher costs of a 2″ mill and fill or a total rebuild as is the case when water and sewer lines are replaced.
In the final decision making, the City receives a fairly flat (year over year) amount from the state’s Road Use Tax Fund, that remains unchanged since the 1990’s, and the 1-cent local option sales tax. With flat revenues and yearly increases in material/labor costs the City’s challenge of determining which streets see repair work in any given year is not an easy one.
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