Over 310 miles of individual lanes are maintained citywide, which is equivalent to the distance from Richardson to San Antonio, Deputy City Manager Don Magner said during a June 10 presentation to council. Many of those roadways—over 70%—are more than 40 years old. The useful life of a concrete street is 25 years, Magner said.
"Every year this becomes more and more of an emerging issue, and we have to continue to work at trying to manage it," he said.
Street maintenance strategy
When choosing where to devote time and resources, Magner said the city first addresses streets in good or fair condition where localized repairs or preventative maintenance can extend life expectancy.
Less time is spent on fixing streets in poor condition since they are not considered "salvageable assets," Magner said. On these streets, the city uses asphalt repairs as a temporary solution until a full replacement is feasible.
There are about 20 miles of residential concrete street in Richardson overlaid with asphalt. The condition of the concrete beneath dictates how quickly the city should reconstruct the roadway. About 12-15 miles should be addressed in the next two bond cycles, Magner said. For the remaining miles, staff is suggesting removing the existing asphalt and repaving the road with new asphalt.
"We want to reconstruct them all, but we are trying to prioritize the most critical," he said.
Council Member Steve Mitchell said some citizens may perceive this strategy as "kicking the can down the road."
"It potentially sends a message that we may not be as committed to full-depth concrete as we've communicated," he said.
The estimated cost of reconstructing the remaining 20 miles of residential asphalt overlay streets as concrete is $90 million and will likely take 20-25 years, according to Magner's presentation.
A Google street image shows Derby Drive in Richardson, which is a concrete street overlaid with asphalt.[/caption]
What's to come
For the upcoming fiscal year budget, staff is currently proposing no change in the amount of money funneled toward street maintenance. However, once property values are certified in July and the city has a better idea of how much additional revenue it can add to its budget, Magner said he expects funding for streets to increase.
A 3.5-cent dedication of the city's property tax levy is the primary source for street and alley maintenance funding, Magner said.
The biggest share of street maintenance funding—about $1.8 million—in the upcoming fiscal year will go toward collector streets, or low-to-moderate capacity roads. Those streets include Yale Boulevard, Floyd Road and Richardson/Municipal Drive. Another $1.3 million will be funneled toward streets in the Northrich, Brand Park and Duck Creek neighborhoods. Some arterial street repair is also included in the proposed budget.