Dallas needs to spend $900 million on road repairs

Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 9.05.17 AMFixing city streets is like going to the dentist. Let that cavity go, and pretty soon you’ll need a root canal. The longer you wait, the more it’s going to cost.

Well, Dallas has been procrastinating a bit, spending on sweets like streetcars and trails instead of having those potholes filled. Now it’s time to pay the endodontist. The city needs to spend $900 million over the next four years to bring our streets up to 87 percent satisfaction, the goal set in 2006, which hasn’t been reached.

Less than 82 percent of the city’s 11,700 miles of roadway are satisfactory now, according to a briefing for City Council’s Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee Monday. About 62 percent of our roads are graded “C,” meaning “major and proactive maintenance” is required. It is estimated that with Public Works’ current $331 million street repair budget, that less than 75 percent of our streets will be satisfactory by 2017.

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The committee determined the city has three choices: Put the needs of street repairs in the next bond election and hope voters approve it, take the money from the city’s general fund, or let the streets rot away for the next five years.

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