Taking a look down the road(s)

GREENWOOD AVE. has been red-flagged as one of the most problematic roads in Tracy. Photo / Per Peterson

An aggressive, nearly $1M road maintenance plan was laid out to the Tracy City Council last week

When it comes to Tracy thoroughfares, much of the attention today is focused on ongoing, multi-phase infrastructure projects aimed at improving the condition of various streets around town. But what of the ones that aren’t part of the current plans?

Tracy Public Works Director Shane Daniels and Tracy City Administrator Erik Hansen last week outlined a potential three-year program that focuses on the future of roads that are in dire need of attention.

The street-by-street presentation consists of a list of projects that Daniels and Hansen agree should be done in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

“It has a pretty substantial price tag,” Hansen said of the aggressive proposal. “We need to talk about how we’re gonna pay for it. We’re suggesting, let’s spend some money now to save what we have, because it’s gonna save us a heckuva lot of money down the road. If you’re willing to spend the money on that three-year program, that will get us to the point where you can just do regular maintenance without having to catch up. In other words, the City is well behind in its road maintenance.

“We’re gonna start losing roads,” Daniels said.

“If we don’t do it, we’ll have to start reconstructing roads, and that costs a lot more money,” added Hansen. “You’re spending more money than you’ve ever spent on street maintenance before.”

The main takeaway from last week’s study session was putting the preservation of the decent roads in town as a top priority because, as Hansen said, some are so far gone that it would be taking “good money, chasing after bad.”

So, where does the City start?

Roads that were reconstructed in the last 15 years are in good condition, Daniels said, but there are exceptions. On 4th St. East from East Hollett to State streets, for example — these streets were the focus of a 2007 street improvement project — no crack sealing or sealcoating has been done since the project was competed, and the road is drying out and has begun to form potholes.

“We have filled some potholes there,” said Daniels, who as part of the presentation put together a spreadsheet on every road on every block in town. “That’s one we want to look at sooner rather than later.”

Similarly, neither crack sealing nor sealcoating has taken place on roads that were part of the 2009 street improvement project; those roads, too, are starting to dry out. Same with the 2014 4th and Morgan project, which is a county road, so there would be no cost incurred.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.