San Angelo City Councilwoman Elizabeth Grindstaff echoed points made by former City Engineer Clinton Bailey years ago. The Standard Times reported her remarks to the West Texas Legislative Summit, which took up the abysmal state of our roads.
The key is to act on streets at the lowest cost level, i.e. before they deteriorate to the next more expensive state for recovery. City Manager Daniel Valenzuela has an eight year preventive maintenance plan, less than the five year one cited above. Early street study results indicated San Angelo also has a massive number of streets requiring more expensive interventions to improve drive-ability.
The cost to maintain a street for 25 years under a five-year maintenance plan can be $15.75 a square yard, and it can be milled and overlaid for $45 a square yard to extend its life. Without proper maintenance, the road base and surface fail, driving the cost to $140 a square yard to repair, she said.
"Simply turning our heads and pretending the problem is not there is going to be detrimental to the future of our community as well as our state.”
That's been San Angelo's past, which included seven years of service by Elizabeth Grindstaff as Assistant City Manager. Streets were under the purview of Ricky Dickson and Shane Kelton. I recall no dire warnings from any of these officials under City Managers Tom Adams and Harold Dominguez. The people who stood watch over San Angelo's streets during their several decade decline are the people to bring them back to a state of health. That will be an interesting thing to experience.