City plans $1 million worth of road repairs

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Public works has plans to spend more than $1 million on street repairs.

Three stretches of road  are slated for repaving, curb repair or sidewalk updates: Rebecca Drive between Southmoor and Tamarack, Green Street between Prospect and New, and Mattis Avenue between Kirby and Windsor.

It’s part of an annual concrete street improvements project.

Public works says 63% of Champaign streets are in fair condition or better. Rebecca Drive, however, is in a category called “failed.”

Like so many others who live there, Tim Conley knows when and where to slow or swerve to avoid becoming airborne.

“It’s tough. It’s really rough,” he says. “It’s got some really deep holes. I know to slow down below the normal speed limit, by at least five miles an hour, and take those bumps real easy because it’ll push me out of my seat.”

Last week, a report from the national non-profit, TRIP, showed a quarter of all roads, and more than half the main routes in the Champaign-Urbana area, are in poor condition.

But Champaign Public Works spokesperson Kris Koester says the city’s numbers beg to differ.

“Our scores showed about 20 percent higher than what was presented in that report,” he says.

They also have their own way to keep track of what’s what. A consultant has a database of about 3,000 roads.

“We keep an index, the PCI index, which is the Pavement Condition Index,” Koester says, “they give it a score anywhere from zero to 100 depending on several factors.”

The aforementioned part of Rebecca Drive scored a 5/100. That’s what earned it the city’s consideration to spend money to repave it and fix the sidewalks.

Koester says the average score of all roads in town is about 63. Their goal is to maintain them at a 50 or higher.

“There’s literally no concrete left,” says Conley, “it’s all busted up, there’s nothing left. It’s not holding no structure. Eventually, I think they will get to it, I just don’t know when.”

The answer is “soon.” The proposed street repairs would be paid for by gas tax dollars and an already-budgeted line item for capital improvements which the city council will talk about Tuesday night.

Public works is also developing a plan to fix almost 500 potholes. They’ve identified the worst spots, and want to repair them permanently with large concrete patches. Staff estimate it’ll cost about $500,000 to hire construction crews to do the job. If you know of a pothole you’re tired of driving over, call public works.

(217) 403 – 4700

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