Denton residents to vote on street reconstruction

Denton residents to vote on street reconstruction

October 24
23:54 2012

Ben Peyton / Senior Staff Writer

On Nov. 6, Americans across the country will vote to decide what road the U.S. takes into the future. With Election Day drawing closer, Denton residents will also vote on how to deal with more literal, non-political roads.

Residents can vote for or against a proposed $20.4 million Street Bond Program that, if passed, would go toward a five-year project to reconstruct and repair city streets in poor condition.

If passed, city bonds would be sold over five years, with roughly $4 million being sold per year to fund the program.

A 21-member citizen committee, appointed by the city council, recommended the proposition after conducting an overall condition index (OCI) survey on the 680 miles and 900 streets included in Denton’s street network.

The survey recommends the reconstruction of any street segments scoring a 40 or below on the 100-point scale – Denton’s city streets scored a 60 average on the scale.

Bell Avenue, Windsor Road and McKinney Street are a few streets that would undergo significant reconstruction if the proposal is approved.

If passed, the bond proposal would have no effect on property taxes, according to a press release from the city.

Tim Crouch, co-chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee which recommended the program, said streets that would be covered by the proposal can no longer be maintained or repaired, but are in need of total reconstruction.

He used Schmitz Street as an example. Schmitz Street, which has an OCI score of less than 20, features a curb bearing a plaque from the Works Progress Administration, a now-defunct New Deal agency that carried out public works projects during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The plaque seems to indicate that the road has not been replaced since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House.

“That’s the kind of thing we’re trying to deal with – streets that have far outlived their normal lives – and it is time to put some money toward fixing those kind of things,” Crouch said.

The life of a new road would be 40-50 years, depending on conditions and usage, he said.
The street bond proposition also sets aside $400,000 toward public art that could be included on planned expansions to Interstate 35-E near Post Oak Road and University Drive.

The Street Bond Proposition has taken more than six months of intense planning and study, Mayor Mark Burroughs said.

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