The Tyler City Council learned that its streets are in good shape overall, but keeping them maintained will require them to continue to invest, according to a consultant.
Reuben Williams with firm Dynatest said most of the city’s roads are well-built and properly maintained. The city’s Pavement Condition Index (PCI) score is 77, out of a scale from 0 to 100.
“The poor roads and failed roadways make up only 7 percent of your network,” Williams told the City Council in its regular meeting on Wednesday. “A target for it to be manageable is about 12 percent. You’re ahead of that. The trick is fixing those roads but not neglecting the good roads, and letting them degrade.”
Williams came with a set of recommendations: Increasing the annual baseline budget for road maintenance from $3 million to $3.5 million; maintaining the city’s dedicated 1 cent on the property tax rate for seal coating; updating the city’s databases yearly; and doing a new pavement survey every four years.
The end result, he said, would be maintaining the city’s PCI score of 77 after 10 years.
“I’m very proud the community has made the commitment to the pavement enhancement project, where we’re putting $3 million a year into road overlay and reconstruction,” said Mayor Martin Heines. “We’re heading in the right direction. There might be some modifications in the plan, but I’m proud this council is committed to maintaining our streets.”
The report should lead to at least some changes to city policy, Heines said.
“It might lead to some attention to particular streets, and to doing more to address marginal streets before they get worse,” he said. “The power in having this knowledge, good solid information, leads to better decision making. The more info we have, the better prepared we are. This will help us keep a high PCI index in the future.”
Council member John Nix said the city should keep an eye on roads with increasing traffic.
“Several of the roads in my district you’ve marked as marginal, the traffic counts are exploding in recent years,” he said. “It may be (ranked) marginal, but when you add the traffic count, I would argue that some of those roads are poor.”
The city’s new managing director of public works and utilities, Scott Taylor was on hand Wednesday.
“Working for a city with a PCI score of 77 puts a smile on my face,” Taylor said.
Also on Wednesday, council members adopted an ordinance regularizing the fees and processes for groups to block off streets for events.