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Survey shows streets in ‘fair’ condition

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Alison Penn Photo From left, Jim Tourek, client services manager from Infrastructure Management Services, presented the results from the street survey and City Engineer Louis Najar, right, answered some follow-up questions from the Infrastructure Committee on Monday. City Councilor Steve Henderson can be seen in the background.

Results from a street survey looking at street surface and structure showed that about one-third of city streets need some level of reconstruction.

Jim Tourek, client services manager with Infrastructure Management Services, presented the results from the street survey — which determined that Roswell has “fair” street conditions — at the city of Roswell’s Infrastructure Committee meeting on Monday.

Tourek said the city has 317 centerline miles (not including width of lanes) of streets and the 6.5 million square yards of pavement are valued at $370 million, not including sidewalks or sections for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Infrastructure Committee members Juan Oropesa, chairman, Jeanine Corn Best and Caleb Grant were present and George Peterson was absent. Other city councilors Steve Henderson, Savino Sanchez and Barry Foster were present as well.

From the survey, Tourek shared the city’s average pavement condition index (PCI) is at 52, and the city has almost 29.9% of streets that require an expensive “full or partial reconstruction,” which he called “backlog.”

With a bar graph, Tourek showed that PCI can range from 0-25 PCI — very poor street conditions — to 85-100 PCI, excellent conditions. He said the national average is 60-65 PCI.

He said the goals for the city’s streets are a suggested minimum PCI of 60, and a backlog maximum of 15% — lenient compared to the ideal backlog of 12% or less.

If the city maintains the current backlog of nearly 30%, Tourek said the streets would be in “life support mode.”

“It’s tough when three out of 10 of the roads need to have some type of a reconstruct,” Tourek said.

Only 2-2.5% of the city’s streets were determined as excellent, which Tourek said was “well below where it needs to be.” He reported this number should be closer to 50%, and streets from poor to good, or 40 to 70 PCI, were “bad and getting worse quickly.”

Other funding and “level of service options” were shown to the city, where the current budget is now $5 million. Tourek said the current budgeting increases the backlog to 37%.

Najar said the $5 million included “every tool” the city is using for the streets.

Tourek said neither ADA compliance nor inflation costs were included in the numbers. Najar and Tourek said about 30% of a street project budget usually goes to ADA sections and sidewalks, if needed.

Tourek said a budget of $9.5 million would increase the PCI to 60 with a backlog of 29% over the next five years. He reiterated that this was “life support, barely surviving.”

If the city budgeted $16 million, he said the PCI would be 74% with a 15% backlog at the end of five years.

His recommendations were that rehab strategies needed review annually and a new street survey should be done every 4-5 years.

Najar said he and his team can use new software from IMS to address the streets “driven” by facts, numbers and characteristics. Adjustments can be made for recently finished projects like Union and Montana, and they can take into consideration damage from waterline breaks.

At the end of Tourek’s presentation, Oropesa said the city “knew that our roads were not in good shape at all” and Best said the bad news was “inevitable.” Sanchez said the city was “already behind” and needed to do something to catch up.

Another street condition survey presentation from IMS will be given to the full council in October.

“With infrastructure, we try to be number-driven,” Najar said. “We try to have a plan — and yeah, we’re boring and we’re not the most fun projects to talk about — but without us there is no city of Roswell.”

The street survey was conducted last December in response to a city survey in 2017 — where Najar said roads were the “number one priority and worst complaint.” IMS was selected through a request for proposals process.

One of the last items that Najar presented was for the committee’s consideration to accept $750,000 from the New Mexico Department of Transportation for the crossing signals at the intersection of North Main and Country Club Road.

He said NMDOT will contribute 95% and the city will provide a 5% match. The committee approved to send the item to full council on the consent agenda, meaning the council could approve it with other items with one vote and discussion would only happen if a councilor amended the agenda to discuss the item.

In other business, Grant led a discussion on potential consolidation of Little League fields at the Cielo Grande Recreation Area on West College. After a lengthy discussion, Oropesa suggested that a workshop should be held to cover all the potentials of the local Little League’s future.

Special projects reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.