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City revamps Streets Capital Improvement Plan, Some street improvements moved up

The City of El Paso will roll out more street improvements while revamping its $210 million Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for Streets.

On Monday City Council, following a Street Improvement Reconciliation report, ratified spending $5.9 million to complete the resurfacing projects in the current fiscal year. The contract for resurfacing was originally approved in January 2015. Council also approved the budgetary authorization to complete $23 million in street reconstruction projects in progress.

The original Street CIP plan was funded through certificates of obligation and approved in 2012. Approximately $148 million of the funds remain.

Approximately, $43 million have been expedited on street improvements approved under the 2012 Street CIP plan. About $18 million of the funds were spent on street improvements and other projects not included in the original Street CIP plan.

Any changes to the original 2012 Street CIP Plan must be approved by council as a whole.

The funds were originally set aside for street reconstruction, resurfacing/microsurfacing, signal synchronization, unpaved right-of-ways and alleys, median and parkway landscaping, pedestrian sidewalk and parkway improvements, and traffic calming under the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program.

The majority of the remaining funds, approximately $117 million, are allocated to street reconstruction projects.

Council was reminded during the presentation that estimates for street reconstruction projects did not account for cost escalation or all aspects of street reconstruction, such as land acquisition, utility relocation, or landscaping requirements based on ordinance amendments.

The City is working with a third-party consultant to update estimates for street reconstruction projects. Once completed, the updated estimates will be provided to council at a later date and used to reprioritize the listing of street reconstruction projects.

The original Street CIP plan includes allocating $3.5 million for Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) but did not include a list of projects. A list of traffic calming projects to be funded through this allocation will be presented to council in two weeks for their consideration.

As part of the report, Council was informed that the City is considering spending $1 million on a new Pavement Condition Index (PCI) study to update a 2008 study. Council requested that a funding source other than 2012 certificates of obligation be identified before asking council for budgetary authorization consideration to embark on the study.

If a new PCI study is performed, its results would be used to prioritize streets for the remainder of the funds set aside for street resurfacing and reconstruction. The original plan prioritized streets based solely on their PCI index from the 2008 study. The new study would update the pavement condition of all streets and would provide for the inclusion of additional measures, such as traffic volumes.

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