The road to repair: What pavement condition study says about Red Oak's streets

Chris Roark
Waxahachie Daily Light
Hillside Street from College Street to Red Oak Road was rated "poor" with a pavement condition index of 40.

The city of Red Oak now has an idea of which roads need the most attention.  

During a recent City Council meeting, city leaders discussed results of a study that examined the condition of every road in the city.

The study, conducted by Infrastructure Management Services, provided a pavement condition index (PCI) rating – 0 being the worst and 100 being the best – to give city leaders an idea of what streets to address first and what type of work they need. Roads were also given a designation that ranged from very poor to excellent.

Jared Binford, assistant director of public works, said the study indicated that 43 percent of the city’s roads are considered “excellent,” and 5 percent are considered “poor” or “very poor.”

He said 99 percent of the city’s concrete roads grade “fair” or better and have a PCI score of 50 percent or more. No concrete streets have a score less than 40.

But he said 41.8 percent of the city’s asphalt streets rate less than “fair.” He said 23.8 percent of the asphalt streets have a score less than 40.

The lowest rated street over 500 feet is Highland Avenue (23 rating).

Others under a 40 PCI are Pratt Road, Oglesby, Tom Driver Road, College Street, Bow Creek Court, Hillcrest Lane, Goodloe, Stephenson Road, Dana, Valleyview Lane, Stainback Court, as well as portions of Waller Street, Roxy Lane, Rugged Drive, Norton, Lendard Street, Hillside Street, Deer Creek, Country Ridge Lane and College.

Binford said the average PCI citywide is a 78, with asphalt roads averaging at 57 and concrete roads averaging at 84. New streets are not included in the averages so not to skew the numbers.

City Manager Todd Fuller said the grading system is just one factor the city will use in planning its next road projects, adding that the use of the road is another factor.

“What this does is it gives them a basis for where the bad roads are, so they can prioritize where the money needs to be spent,” Fuller said.

“It’s one thing to see which roads are bad,” Fuller said. “But it’s another thing to see where we need to spend the money. So we’ll need traffic cameras, too. Because do we go spend half a million dollars doing these roads that are going to have 40 cars a day on them, or do we use half a million dollars on roads that have 2,000 cars a day on them?”

Binford said the road projects will include both repairing and maintaining roads.

“If we don’t do constant maintenance to extend that life, it’s going to go down really fast,” Binford said. “Part of this pavement management plan is not about waiting for these streets to hit 20 percent and then rebuilding, because that’s really expensive.”

Options include crack sealing for the roads with the highest PCI, followed by microsurfacing, overlay, mill and overlay and panel replacement for the lowest PCI.

Binford said it costs approximately $3.80 per square yard to perform microsurfacing for maintenance, whereas a full reconstruction of an asphalt street can cost $25 to $30 per square yard.

He said the plan will be a combination of reconstructing the very poor streets and maintaining the ones that are on the edge of becoming bad.

“We want to catch it right before it drops and raise that score back up to the 80s or 90s, and then let it go another five or seven years,” Binford said.

Binford said that in next five years, spending nothing would give the city an overall PCI rating of 71. He said spending $100,000 would bump it up to a 72.

Binford said if the city chooses to only address the backlog streets to keep any more streets from dipping below 40, it would cost $350,000 a year.

He said to maintain the current CPI, it would cost $480,000 a year.

He said spending $780,000 a year would give the city an average CPI of just below 80.

To bring the city to a CPI of 80, with every street in the city being considered “very good”, it would cost $870,000 a year.

He said to fix every street in the city, it would cost $1.7 million a year.

No decisions have been made on what roads will be addressed first, and the city is expected to discuss funding these projects next year during the budget process.

City officials said there are multiple funding options available, including the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) depending on the location of the roads.

Jonathan Phillips, assistant city manager, said the city is also going through a roadway impact fee study, which would provide revenue the city doesn’t currently have.

“I don’t know how to get it done, but I’m glad we have the tool to enable us to start looking that way and get us to do better,” Mayor Mark Stanfill said.