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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:45 pm 
Patching, Re-patching and Patching again and again and....

This Part 3b will investigate ongoing fixit plans and the costs involved. There are 71 Lane Miles of Town owned streets in the Town of Silver City; because some of them are 4 lanes we cannot simply say there are 35.5 miles of streets but something just under. These numbers do not include highways like Hudson St. (Highway 90) nor PA Road (Highway 15) which the Town is not responsible for maintaining but rather at the mercy of the State. Fortunately most streets aren't this bad but the cost of repair is astronomical and money from the State and the Feds, via the State, is constantly on the decline. Though, I'm using Silver City to tell a story, the issues also apply to the County and all of its municipalities and to a greater or lesser degree, all across the US.

In my last article (Pt 3a) announcing the upcoming 4 day Chip/Fog Seal project I didn't mention the cost but it will be about $500,000 for the 5 miles of streets, $100,000 per mile in an attempt to prolong the life of the pavement. The Photos herein show damage beyond Chip Seal capabilities and need to be removed and redone and because many streets were built without proper drainage and many streets in this condition also have sidewalks in the same condition (if there are sidewalks) many will be a "starting from scratch" project.

As an example of the approximate cost of a total rebuild I'll use an example of an upcoming project on Silver Street between Pine and Lamb which is 3 blocks. Approximate cost because every job has its variables. This Silver St project will, because the drainage needs fixing, entail removing the pavement and the base course and what sidewalks exist and starting over. One block is measured at 350 feet and each 350' costs $125,000 for this project; that cost would increase if bike lanes were installed but in this case there will not be any even though the street services 3 schools and is heavily used. What we get for this $375,000 assuming the price doesn't go up:

• 3 blocks of improved drainage with 6 inch base course
• 3 blocks of 2 lane street with parking on each side, 3 inch asphalt
• new curbs and gutters
• 4 ada ramps and railing at each intersection that has a complete rebuild
• sidewalks

Though the money from the state has been promised since sometime last winter it is still not here and may come when school is in session making for a difficult situation as the state expects it to be used asap after arriving. Since Gov Martinez has been in office money is tighter and no longer comes from the state in a timely manner, often taking a year or longer but to be fair it is not only her fault as money from the Feds to the States has also shrunk and takes longer to arrive, after all, the feds have bombs to build and Countries to attack with our money instead of using it for infrastructure and other benefits to its people.

About PA Rd, as promised.
PA Rd is State Highway 15 and therefore the NMDOT's sole responsibility but all is not lost. The Town has been talking with the State about what we want. For the section from Highway 180 to 32nd Street the NMDOT has set aside $4.5 Million for a compete rebuild to include bike lanes and ada sidewalks. According to Alex Brown, Town Manager, the project will start in FY 2016 he thought.

Both Photos are of Market Street between Bullard and Cooper

In order to help pay for the increasing cost and increasing need for patching streets, a GRT tax increment that was devoted to help pay for water infrastructure was changed and devoted to streets, well half was devoted to streets and half was devoted to the General Fund and our water bills increased but our streets may receive more upkeep.

Links to previous articles in the Infrastructure Series-
Part 1 Paying Our Way
Part 2 Water, Who Pays
Part 3a Streets, Potholes,Decay

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