City looking at repair of nearly 100 streets

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Grading system determines which streets get attention first

The city of Cassville is planning a comprehensive project to repair about 100 city streets.

According to Steve Walensky, public works director for the city, the streets will be repaired according to priority, and a type of scientific grading system that looks at traffic flow.

Walensky estimated the project would take in the neighborhood of seven years to complete, and said the city is working with traffic experts to ensure it is addressing the biggest needs first. Years have passed since some of the streets were repaired, Walensky said, due to lack of funding. Some are in the flood zones, as well, which have impacted their condition, too.

With funding from the transportation tax that passed in April of 2015, the city has approximately $300,000 to put toward repairs of the streets.

"Each street has its own individual grade; it's a numbering system from 1-5, with one being worst," Walensky said. "There's a book you use to do the grading, and it talks about the condition of the asphalt and what's going on with the street, and you grade them and it gives you a number. With that number, we can overlay the graphic and it will be very scientific. Then we say, here's the grades, here's the traffic, here's what were going to do."

After specific streets are selected based on their grades, the city will make a recommendation and begin taking bids from contractors to complete the repairs.

"We'll go back to council with our bids on the streets that we're going to recommend," Walensky said. "We have some statistics from MoDOT in the past, and we obviously know what are biggest traffic volume streets are because we're on the streets all the time. A [good] example is First Street going up to Walmart, because it's very heavily-traveled."

The first street to be repaired also depends on the width and length of the street, which will determine the materials needed for resurfacing, the cost per square foot and impact on the budget.

"With the smaller streets, we can do more until we get further into how far the budget will take us," Walensky said. "So, when we look at streets, we've budgeted $230,000 [just for the resurfacing this year], and $300,000 is the total amount [of forecasted revenue] we have to work with from this year's transportation tax."

Walensky said careful budgeting is important because the city does know for sure how much money it will have until funds are actually generated, so budgeting involves a lot of forecasting.

Some of the funds will be used for any equipment needed, such as spreaders, but the majority will be used to pay contractors to complete the repairs.

Walensky said he was pleased to have the funding now to be able to repair the streets, so that the city's residents have better streets to travel on.

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