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Photo courtesy City of El Paso

City Adds $44.6m to Fix Streets needing ‘Critical’ Repairs

On Monday the City Council, following a Street Capital Improvement report, voted to modify the plan’s list of street improvement projects.

City officials recalibrated the $210 million Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for Streets. The new direction calls for completing resurfacing and reconstruction projects currently under contract and to add an additional budget of $44.6 million to streets listed as in need of “critical” repairs.

The vote included committing funding for a citywide pavement assessment to produce data needed to prioritize future funding for street pavement management. The City last conducted a pavement assessment in 2008.

Prior to Monday, pavement management decisions for the Street CIP had been based solely on the 2008 pavement assessment study. As a result of the limited factors considered for pavement management decisions, the City ended up resurfacing mostly residential streets instead of the most heavily traveled arterial roadways.

Street reconstruction candidates were prioritized by drainage damage, subgrade and pavement problems.

The life cycle of a street in El Paso under the City’s current pavement management program is about 140 years. The typical industry standard for the useful life of a street without any preventive maintenance is 25 years.

The report presented Tuesday included a recommendation, which council approved, for the development of a pavement management program that would improve the life cycle of El Paso streets by centering decisions on various factors including:

  • Updated pavement assessment data
  • Traffic volumes
  • Other technical factors, such as lighting, drainage, utility issues, median landscaping, bus routes, need for right-of-way acquisitions, pedestrian connectivity, etc.

The recalibrated street listing will serve as a guide for the city departments that manage street improvement projects – the Capital Improvement Department and the Streets and Maintenance Department.

 “Council’s action today supports our efforts to continue to carry out the 2012 Streets CIP designed to fund improvements centered on extending the pavement life of our most heavily traveled streets and reconstructing those that cannot be resurface,” Capital Improvement Department Director Andy Goh said.

The original $210 million Street CIP plan was funded through certificates of obligation and approved in 2012. About $18 million of the funds were spent on street improvements and other projects not included in the original Street CIP plan. The majority of the remaining funds are allocated to street reconstruction projects.

The presentation included a recommendation to find a way to replenish to the Street CIP the approximate $18 million in funds that were used for street improvements and other projects, such as the rehabilitation of the Mulligan building.

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