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Repair and Improve Streets

2011/03/24

Grass growing in potholes along Hyman StreetMany of Stephenville’s streets need to be repaired or completely rebuilt. Rough streets are more than an annoyance; they contribute significantly to vehicle wear and, under some conditions, can become an unacceptable safety hazard. There are dips which cannot be safely crossed at normal traffic speeds, and some which cannot be crossed at any speed in a normal passenger car without dragging.

 

 

 

 

As we have seen in the past flooded streets pose another safety hazard as well asCar passing through a flooded section of Frey Street accelerating the rate of wear to the street surface itself.  The current plan calls for $500,000 in street repair and reconstruction each year and a $10,000,000 plan to improve stormwater drainage.  A look at the amount of resurfacing done in the last couple of years will quickly show that this plan will leave many streets in their current condition for a decade or more.  Furthermore, this rate of repair will not keep up with the rate of deterioration of higher-traffic streets like Harbin and Frey.

Making matters worse, major drainage problems will generally result in resurfacing being postponed until the underground work can be done.  This means that some of the streets most needful of repair must wait until the corresponding part of the stormwater drainage plan is funded before any major street work can begin.

Of course, a large part of the problem is that every penny spent on other projects is not accumulating to fund these important upgrades.  These streets have been flooding for decades, and until the council is willing to halt all of the unnecessary spending and debt, they will continue to flood two or three times every year.

When your roof leaks, you don’t come up with a plan to fix it over the next 20-30 years so you can keep your deluxe cable package and put in a hot tub; you immediately divert funds from luxuries to the essential item until it’s finished. Long term plans, where vital infrastructure is concerned, are for general maintenance, not imperative repairs. As long as there are problems like the crumbling edges of Alexander Road or the flooding we saw last year on Alexander Road, South Lillian and at the intersection of Frey and Race, there is a critical task not yet completed, and spending on luxury items is irresponsible.

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