Grand Junction City Council hears road report

Most residents don’t give much thought to the roads they travel on every day, unless they’re riddled with potholes and wearing away.

It’s a job of city government to keep them maintained.

It’s also the job of the Grand Junction City Council to determine exactly what level of maintenance to fund.

To get a full picture of the condition of Grand Junction’s roadways, council members got their first glimpse of an anticipated study, called a pavement condition index, during a workshop on Monday.

On a scale of 0-100, 744 lane miles of Grand Junction’s roads are listed this year with an average rating of 69.

“It’s really not a bad report card, quite frankly,” Grand Junction Public Works and Utilities Director Greg Lanning said in his report to the council.

However, by comparison, Grand Junction’s roads averaged a 78 on the pavement condition index in 2004 but dipped in 2010 and 2011 when city leaders did not allocate any dollars to overlay roads.

Grand Junction allocated $1.5 million to road construction and improvements this year, the thin funding partly because councilors were waiting to hear results of this study.

An estimated budget of $4 million a year for the next three years may keep Grand Junction’s roads at their current levels of maintenance, Lanning said.

Councilman Marty Chazen said he would support allocating the needed amount of dollars toward street maintenance and repairs so road conditions don’t slip further.

“It’s going to get worse at an accelerated rate,” Chazen said.

Indeed, when roads go without overlays or chip sealing for too long, the roadways need to be rebuilt, which costs several times more to replace. Generally, chip sealing costs $0.22 a square foot, overlaying a road costs $1.70 a square foot and rebuilding a road costs $8 a square foot, the city reported.

Some roads that need to be rebuilt include North Seventh Street, First Street from Grand Avenue to North Avenue and D Road from 29 Road to 30 Road, the city said.

Recently repaired Patterson Road is listed at a 92 on the scale, while First Street, which is showing major cracks, is listed at a 29 on the index.

In comparison with other cities, Golden maintains 152 lane miles, spending $1.5 million annually on road repairs, and has a listing of 72 on the pavement condition index.

Durango maintains 155 lane miles of roads, also spending $1.5 million a year, but its roads rate 64 on the study.

A few cities in the comparison study stated their goal is to keep city roads at 70 or above.

Council members are expected to have future discussions on the levels of maintenance they expect for city roads and the amounts they allocate for improvements.


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