Road woes

Some Beal Street N.W. residents are concerned with the condition of their roads, saying they have to dodge some fairly deep potholes just to get out of their driveways.

“We began asking the administration to work on potholes on our street shortly after Mayor (Doug) Franklin was elected,” Felipe Romain, a former city councilman, said.

The city’s operation department last year did cold patching of the street in front of his home, but some of the patches already are coming up, he said.

“There must between 40 or more patches in front of the two houses on the left and right of me,” Romain said. “We appreciate what has been done, but would like to see a more permanent solution.”

Delores Gourley, who lives several houses west of Romain, said neighborhood residents should not have to dodge potholes traveling to and from their homes.

“When we have big rains, the water just sits in front of our houses until it drains,” she said. “It is tearing up the street.”

Walter Clement, who lives on Heather Lane, said nothing has been done on his street for years.

“You can back out onto our street and get a flat tire,” Clement said. “Last year, the city paved a short spot of it, but more needs to be done. I would like to see a citywide street repair program.”

Beal N.W. turns into Heather Lane.

The administration and City Council spent much of 2012 discussing the possibility of a bond program in which money would be set aside to upgrade and repair non-target area streets – ones that do not qualify for federal matching grants. The street repair portion of the bond was not approved.

Earlier this year, City Engineer Paul Makosky presented the city with a plan that would allow the city to do nearly $700,000 worth of non-target area roads over several years.

“It will depend whether the administration and council are able to come up with the funds,” Makosky said. “I think the administration and finance are interested in finding a funding source.”

Makosky said he attempts to stretch the funds the city has by using alternative paving methods, such as a method called thin asphalt overlay for some of the heavily damaged roads that otherwise would have been given a temporary cold patch repair. The thin asphalt overlay places a three-quarter inch layer of asphalt over the streets.

“It costs less and significantly improves their condition,” Makosky said.

Some thin overlay work was done last year on Hollywood and Maplewood.