Roads receive a passing grade

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Weatherford residents have grown accustomed to the sight of construction signs and cones in the city.

While that work continues, the city recently had a seven-year checkup on the condition of the roads and was graded for it.

Stephen Smith of Infrastructure Management Services gave the results of that test at the City Council meeting on July 23.

“Weatherford is holding her ground,” Smith said, giving the city a 66 of 100 score – the same as when they tested the roads in 2006.

Smith said that score counts as a high B+ and is higher than the average city he encounters.

Weatherford’s transportation network has 170 miles of road – enough to stretch to Longview – and represents about $164 million of investment, Smith said.

Smith showed council members and residents in attendance photos of roads in stages of deterioration that could use some work.

“Some roads need a bit more love than others,” Smith said of Weatherford’s streets.

Smith graded about 15 percent of Weatherford’s roads – 3 percent lower than seven years ago – as poor to very poor and likely cannot be repaired but instead need to be redone.

Other roads Smith said could probably be used as much as another decade longer with just slight repairs and maintenance.

In a presentation giving an update on street projects, Manny Palacios, Weatherford’s director of transportation and public works, showed before and after photos of city roads that had been repaved recently so they could last longer.

Some had been resurfaced using microsurfacing, which takes much less time to put down as other surfacing and also saves money.

To keep all the roads maintained could take a budget of about $2 million, Smith said. And with a budget under $1.4 million deterioration will occur despite attempts to slow it.

But he said the best way to use the budget available to the city would be to focus on maintaining the roads with slight deterioration to keep them from getting worse and using any extra funding to replace roads that cannot be repaired.

“We want the roads in Weatherford to really reflect the good quality of the city,” Smith said.

Council members praised Palacios for what he accomplished in Weatherford’s road network without having a large budget.

At a previous council meeting, the possibility of an increase in property tax was mentioned when considering the new budget to provide more funding to the streets department.

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