Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006 • City needs millions of dollars to fix the streets

Publisher’s note: This story is reprinted from the Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006 edition of the Lassen County Times.

Unless the state loosens its purse strings, Susanville streets will continue to disintegrate.

In a report, during the Wednesday, Feb. 1 City Council meeting, Public Works Director Craig Platt said staff has been requesting Street Improvement Program money from the state for the past five years without much luck.

“It is very hard to receive STIP funding as STIP money is for traffic calming and increased traffic circulation, not for street rehabilitation,” said Platt. “Because of this the funding for rehabilitation projects is few and far between.”

Platt said it would cost almost $6 million to fix the disintegrating roads,

The city has requested STIP money mainly for city streets destroyed by extreme weather conditions and because many have not been resurfaced for several years.

Platt said the public works department could only do small overlays because it is not equipped or manned to do larger jobs due to lack of state funding.

Many streets have severe alligator cracks, ruts, depressions and base failures as well as minor drainage problems. Alligator cracks are interconnected cracks in asphalt pavement forming small pieces ranging in size from one inch to approximately six inches.

Platt said many of the repairs would be primarily adding overlay. There will be base failure repairs, where required, and improvements to unstable shoulder slopes will also be looked at, Platt said.

Nineteen streets have not had an asphalt concrete overlay within the past 20 to 25 years and have deteriorated to the point where asphalt concrete patching cannot protect the integrity of the pavement surface any longer. The existing surfaces have developed potholes and severely alligatored areas, creating unsafe vehicular travel, Platt said.

The 19 streets that to the point their integrity have failed and will has to be completely rebuilt are:

  • Parkdale Avenue (Chestnut to Glenn)
  • Chestnut Street (Bunyan to Ash)
  • North Weatherlow Street (Nevada to Chestnut)
  • North Union Street (Main to North)
  • North Gay Street (Main to Nevada)
  • South Gay Street (Cottage to Court)
  • Court Street (South Gay to South Lassen)
  • Carroll Street (South Lassen to curve)
  • Burma Road (North Pine to North Roop)
  • North Railroad Avenue (Richmond to Pardee)
  • Foss Street (Alley to Cornell)
  • Third Street (Cedar to Grand)
  • Third Street (Park to Ash)
  • Fifth Street (Spruce to Ash)
  • South Ash Street (Main to River)
  • River Street (South As to South Gilman)
  • South McDow Street (Main to River)
  • North Sacramento Street (Main to Second)
  • North Spring Street (Main to Second)
  • Arnold Street (North Weatherlow to end of the street)

Platt said he is waiting for a cost estimate to fix those 19 streets.

After fixing the most deteriorated streets, Platt will prioritize the rest of the streets and complete the repairs in phases.

To receive Proposition 42 money, Platt said, the city is required to spend about $319,000 a year from the general fund on street rehabilitation, repair and maintenance. The city has not received Prop 42 money for a number of years due to the state’s budget restraints.

Platt told the council once the cost estimate is complete and the repairs to streets not requested under STIP funding is completed, those figures will be brought back to the council to work into the fiscal year 2006-2007 budget. If STIP funding is not received, the council will need to look at finding other funding sources and grants to complete repairs.