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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Engineer outlines costs, repairs needed for Pleasanton's streets

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

Deteriorated streets and methods to repair them were outlined by a consulting engineer to the Pleasanton City Council on Monday. (Unsplash stock photo by Matt Hoffman)

By Roger Sims, Journal staff

PLEASANTON – The Pleasanton City Council heard an engineer’s assessment of the city’s streets on Monday, July 10. Neither the council nor those seated in the audience were surprised that the assessment was not good.

In his report, Jason Hoskinson, an engineer with Lawrence-based BG Consultants, noted that a few of the city’s streets had either been gravel or had returned to gravel, and a few streets (most notably Sixth and Main streets) had fair to good pavement that is maintainable.

Most of the streets, however, are in deteriorating or poor condition with chip-and-seal or thin asphalt surfaces with deteriorating edges, potholes, “alligator” cracking, and areas of pavement degrading into gravel, Hoskinson said.

Those conditions and other conditions are an indication that the street is beyond overlay or maintenance, and the best way to fix them is remove pavement down to a solid base and replace the surface.

“Those streets are beyond repair,” Hopkinson said, “they’ve been put off long enough that you’ve got to start over.”

Hoskinson laid out four options the council could choose including doing nothing and allowing for further deterioration, use a thin surface treatment such as chip-and-seal for about $1.5 million. He did not recommend taking either of those routes.

What did get his recommendation was either a full-depth replacement using asphalt on top of a gravel base for an estimated $22 million or a full-depth replacement with reclamation using the usable existing base, filling holes and cementing that together topped with either an 2- to 3-inch thick asphalt surface ($10.5 million) or a double chip-and-seal surface ($5.5 million).

Hoskinson indicated that he favored the asphalt surface. “It would make your streets something to be proud of,” he said.

While his assessment of the condition of the city’s streets would seem to support proponents of the proposed 1% sale tax issue that Pleasanton voters will decide at the polls in November, the consultant said that the city will need more money than that.

A one-cent sales tax would pay principal and interest on a $4 million bond on 4% interest over 20 years. He suggested that there might be some grant money available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well. He also suggested that the Kansas Department of Transportation might also have a cost-share that could apply.

In describing a timeline for the a major street repair-replacement program he suggested that after determining which streets needed to be prioritized, city officials needed to determine which improvement options would work in different areas and then secure funding.

If approved by voters, the proposed new city sales tax would not generate any income until April 2024 and is expected by city officials to generate about $300,000 a year. According to the ballot question, the money would only be used for city streets or to purchase equipment that would be used to maintain city streets.

A public discussion period following Hoskinson’s presentation dealt mostly with questions for him.

Angie Randall, who is running to fill an open council seat in November, asked what repairs would be necessary for Main Street. During a town hall meeting in June, Randall said that while the additional sales tax was regrettable, the city needed it to insure that enough was being done to address the problem.

Hoskinson said that Main Street only needed to be milled down and an asphalt overlay applied to it.

Chris Martin, who is also running for a council seat, asked what streets would be given priority in an upgrade plan.

City officials released a plan in the spring that gave some detail as to which streets would receive priority.

Public Works supervisor Joey Morrison said that streets leading to the schools and to U.S. Highway 69 should be given top priority because they were the most used and in the worst shape of all of the city streets.

But Morrisey also told the council that his crews didn’t have all the equipment they needed to do much of the road work. He said some of that equipment would only be needed occasionally and it might be best to hire a subcontractor for those items.

Resident Jack Emerson asked what the city intended to do about drainage issues where rainwater would collect alongside the streets and undermine the base.

The engineer said that making sure water drained away from the streets was critical, and some but not all of those instances were included in his cost estimates.

But Morrisey point out that solving all of Pleasanton’s storm drainage problems would be a long process that would require extensive work. He added that his crew didn’t have the equipment to efficiently work on those issues.

Hoskinson said that while a major street restoration project could be under way as soon as next year, adding the USDA into the financing mix could mean the project could take two years or longer before any work could begin.

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