Richardson's aging street network prompts need for roughly $269M worth of repairs, recent analysis shows

(Courtesy city of Richardson)
(Courtesy city of Richardson)

(Courtesy city of Richardson)

The condition of streets in Richardson is getting worse, according to a citywide analysis conducted in 2020.

Annual and preventive maintenance has helped the city safeguard streets in good and satisfactory condition, Deputy City Manager Don Magner told City Council during a March 15 briefing. But the condition of those categorized by the assessment as poor or fair have declined since the last analysis in 2014. More than 70% of the city’s streets are more than 40 years old, Magner said. The expected useful life of a street is 25 years, he added.

“The reason why we are having less success with that [category] is because of the story of our growth as a community,” he said, noting that the overall streets network remains classified as "satisfactory." “We had a lot of streets come on ... in the late ’60s, through the ’70s and even the early ’80s. All of those streets are now 40-plus years old.”

A good chunk of the $269 million in repairs identified in the assessment will need to be addressed in the upcoming municipal bond package, Magner said. The bond will not be sufficient in covering the expense in full, but staff has isolated projects considered crucial enough to include, he said.

“These projects are too large to tackle in any other way [besides a bond],” he said, noting streets in this condition have not been the focus of prior bond programs or annual maintenance. “If these projects don't get funded via [this] bond program, they will likely have to wait for the next bond program.”

Staff is proposing that $98 million worth of projects be included in the package. Some of the biggest projects include $20 million for reconstruction of Custer Parkway between Campbell and Renner roads, about $12 million for West Shore Drive between Campbell and Arapaho Road, and about $9 million for Greenville Avenue between Huffhines Street and Centennial Boulevard.

Bond-worthy candidates are those in which a full reconstruction is the best option, Magner said. These streets have higher traffic volumes, are in need of drainage improvements or have infrastructure damage below the street’s surface. There is also $10 million in proposed sidewalk projects included in the proposal.

There may be an opportunity to fund some of these projects with money from the recently passed stimulus package. Staff is still waiting for clarity on how those dollars can be used but may end up reworking the package based on that option, Magner said.

Staff plans to resume council talks on the specifics of the streets proposition in April, Magner said.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.