Decatur’s 12 worst road surfaces, like 15th Avenue Southeast and Oxmore-Flint Road Southwest, are slated for paving in fiscal 2022.

The fiscal 2022 budget approved this week by the City Council allocates $1.26 million for paving.

The city Engineering Department selects streets for repaving with a priority paving program, created in 2018 by Decatur-based Magnolia River, that rates roads to know which city streets are in the worst shape. The city pays the company an annual fee to use the program.

The department also uses public complaints and high-traffic counts, particularly if it’s an arterial or collector road, as part of the decision on which roads to recommend for the annual paving list, Civil Engineer Courtney Johnson said.

City Engineer Carl Prewitt also talked to the City Council members to find out if any of the roads deteriorated more quickly than expected in the last year, but Council President Jacob Ladner said they stuck with the Engineering Department’s ratings.

The condition rating starts with 100 as perfect and subtract points on issues like cracks, potholes and general road conditions, Johnson said.

“Most roads are ranked in the 70s,” Johnson said.

Johnson said 15th Avenue Southeast had the worst rating when the list was compiled this summer.

“It scored a 59 because it hasn’t been touched in a long time and it’s a cut-through for a lot of school traffic,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Oxmore-Flint Road received the most complaints for its deteriorating condition.

“It’s really falling apart, mainly because there’s no curb and gutter,” Johnson said. “The budget includes some rebuilding of the road.”

The 2022 allocation equals the 2021 paving budget that was approved by the previous City Council, but is less than the $1.4 million approved for fiscal 2019 and then again for fiscal 2020.

However, the city ran short in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hurt gas tax revenues and four projects had to be delayed until fiscal 2021.

The paving plan for 2021 was finished by the end of the first quarter. The new council, which took office in Nov. 2, 2020, added $1.26 million in additional paving in February.

“We hope we can add more money like we did last year,” Ladner said. “We’ll have to wait until we do the mid-year budget review to see how much we have in the unassigned fund balance.”

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(1) comment

Bruce H

And yet again the 1600 block of Sherman Street doesn't get touched. I purchased my property in 2007 and the street has had nothing done to it in that time frame. We have grass growing in the cracks and where they have installed the speed humps, there is nothing left to anchor them to. You can go out and look at them and see the huge hole developing underneath them. Instead of doing a parking deck and streetscape, fix the infrastructure that you have instead of adding more things that you can't take care of or manage.

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