City launches ambitious, cross-departmental project to rehabilitate, reconstruct and proactively maintain 1,440 road lane-miles.
This year, the City of Irving launched its “Road to the Future: $100 Million in 5 Years” program, which supports road reconstruction and rehabilitation across the city.
Road to the Future is a necessary major economic investment in the city. Residents, visitors and commuters drive these roads every day, and when it comes to dollars and cents, the most efficient methods rely on cost-effective tools to extend the life of every street. The goal of the five-year project is to make sure rehabilitation and reconstruction funds are spread evenly throughout the city, so everyone will experience the results.
The city completed a pavement assessment using a data collection vehicle to systematically and scientifically evaluate the pavement condition of the city’s more than 1,400 lane-mile road network. The results established a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) score for all city roads. The PCI scoring system assigns a number ranging from zero (most in need) to 100 (best) to indicate the general condition of the pavement. Irving roads were issued an Overall Road Network PCI Score of 74.3 or “marginal.”
The results of the 2016 Resident Survey indicated that street maintenance and condition, as well as corridor enhancements, are among the city’s top priorities. With the pavement assessment and resident survey results in hand, Irving City Manager Chris Hillman, along with key staff, developed a plan that concentrates the city’s focus on improving roads by using efficient cost-saving methods. Knowing that reconstructing a half lane-mile — pavement, drainage, sewer and water infrastructure improvements — would cost more than $500,000, the key to reducing the cost of such infrastructure work is routine preventive maintenance.
Pavement infrastructure requires both a responsible approach to the present and proactive maintenance for the future. This means that roads in good condition must be maintained while those in poor condition are rehabilitated or reconstructed. Because Irving is home to a large, comprehensive roadway network, a variety of work is necessary to meet citywide infrastructure needs.
The Road to the Future plan designates $30 million for road rehabilitation. One cost-effective rehab strategy is milling and asphalt overlay. This strategy can extend the life of a street by 10 to 12 years, while concrete panel replacement can extend the life by 18 to 20 years. The Road to the Future plan earmarks $70 million for complete road reconstruction for several major corridors, as well as neighborhood streets throughout the city.
The Funds: Understanding the Dollars and Cents
The City of Irving Finance Department engineered a cost-effective and attainable financial roadmap.
The current Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan incorporates the proposed Long-Term Financial Plan recommendation to dedicate revenue equivalent to one cent of the property tax rate to street projects.
In addition, the growth in property tax values has created additional capacity to issue bonds. With this in mind, city staff continues to develop plans to achieve the goal of investing $100 million in street improvements over five years. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) plan includes $1.1 million in pay-as-you-go capital funding for street rehabilitation. This will increase to $2.2 million in FY 2017-18 and will allow the city to sell $22.5 million in additional bonds over two years for street reconstruction and rehabilitation.
After preliminary finances are established, the first component of a construction project begins with engineering. Road construction is not solely repairing pavement. It involves a collaboration of all city infrastructure departments to complete their tasks efficiently and effectively — including CIP, Traffic and Transportation, and Water Utilities departments — so that all aspects of a project, are addressed at one time. Water and sewer infrastructure needs and costs will be evaluated for each project and will be funded from revenues generated from water rates, making this an even larger overall investment in city infrastructure.
The core components of the five-year project include:
- Corridor street reconstruction of major thoroughfares.
- Neighborhood street reconstruction, which may include sidewalks, curbs and gutters, or complete pavement replacement.
- Participation projects (Dallas County and TxDOT), which require the city’s matching share for grant- and participation-funded projects.
- Street reconstruction in conjunction with the replacement of water and wastewater mains and lines.
- Concrete panel replacements, and the milling and overlay of neighborhood streets and corridors to extend the life of the street without complete reconstruction.
City staff will continue to focus on road reconstruction and rehabilitation while using efficient cost-saving methods.
For more information on Road to the Future, including a full list of street projects, visit CityofIrving.org/3088.