'Tis The Season For Road Work
As the snow melts and the temperatures climb, road work crews are popping up all over.
“As you move out of the winter phase you have a lot more potholes you have to deal with and that's what we're dealing with right now," Springfield Public Works Director Mark Mahoney said.
But where to start when bumps in the road are seemingly everywhere?
“They're all over the city," Mahoney said. "Every area of the city has potholes. Every area of the city has deterioration of the sidewalks. Some areas don't have sidewalks."
And city officials do not have money to pay for the 350 miles of blacktop they are charged with maintaining.
“We'll probably be doing about 15 miles or so this year," Mahoney said. "We'll see how the bids come in."
City engineers have assessed the problem spots that should take priority: shades of red signify roads that just cannot wait.
“We're just trying to make do with that infrastructure money we have, which is roughly--when you combine everything that we're spending on sewers, sidewalks, streets--is roughly about $8.5 million this year at that range, give or take," Mahoney said.
But there is more than $86 million in project proposals for Springfield. Not just repaving roads but mending broken sidewalks and updating an aging sewer system.
“So we're able to do a very, very small amount, and that's why you've heard a lot of discussion lately about infrastructure," Mahoney said. "The mayor has a proposal, a plan for dealing with our greatest needs over the next few years."
It's a plan Houston broke down into four parts. All include raising taxes or sewer rates.
“Some of us alderman agree with a couple of the ideas of going forward with the funding plan, but I think we have to be honest with the taxpayers, and if you look at the crumbling infrastructure--all part of the city needs to be addressed,” Alderman Cory Jobe said.
Springfield City Council continues to discuss Houston's proposal, but they are not expected to reach a decision on the matter for at least a few weeks.