KINGMAN – The pothole problem is far from solved, but at least the Kingman City Council knows what it’s up against.
City Streets Superintendent Jack Plaunty gave a presentation late into the three-hour council meeting Tuesday night to explain how much time and money it would take to fix Kingman’s pothole problem.
“A lot of this right now is just information,” he said. When it comes time to budget, he’ll work with city staff to get aggressive on repairs, he added.
Plaunty’s Pavement Management System Report included an inventory and rating of all paved city streets. The Barnhardt Group, a nationwide pavement management consulting firm, did an inventory and submitted the report to Plaunty, who submitted financial and maintenance strategies to city council for review and direction.
The city’s transportation system is estimated at $268 million. This includes paved streets, alleys and parking lots. There are 434 miles of asphalt roads in Kingman broken down into more than 800 maintenance sections. Pavement distress information is collected into street management software that generates a Pavement Condition Index score and estimates remaining service life for each maintenance section.
The PCI is a rating between 0 and 100 – zero being a failed road and 100 being new. Kingman’s average PCI is 39. An ideal goal would be 100.
“With funding and other considerations that’s not really practical,” Plaunty said. Eighty is more realistic.
Current funding for FY 2017 is $1.6 million from city sales tax dollars. Increased funding, continuous preservation efforts and engineering services would also be needed.
“This isn’t a one-time deal,” he said.
The city lost nearly $100 million in backlogged projects when Highway User Revenue Funds were cut in 2008. To make up for the HURF loss, a one-percent bar and restaurant tax was established with one half percent dedicated to pavement preservation, but maintenance efforts were still hampered and this year’s heavy rains only added to the worsening situation.
Based on current inspection and maintenance results, the current yearly funding level of $1.6 million will not be enough to keep the PCI from falling. It would cost the city nearly $4 million annually to maintain its current 39 PCI rating.
Plaunty’s recommended scenario is to increase the average PCI rating to 50 over the next 10 years at a cost of $58.7 million. That scenario would cost on average $5.86 million annually to achieve a one point PCI yearly increase. The costs don’t include utility and Americans with Disability Act upgrades. The goal of this program would be to prevent roads from deteriorating while slowly increasing the PCI.
Treatments could include high density mineral bond, chip/scrub seal, hot or cold recycling or mill/fill overlays. The report suggests that any maintenance on underground water and sewer systems be done prior to any major surface repair projects.
Mayor Monica Gates acknowledged the serious pothole issue.
“We all know how timely this is,” Gates said. “I’m sure I’m not the only one that received emails, texts, social media and phone calls regarding the current situation.”
“We certainly recognize this is a quality of life issue,” Gates said.
Council has yet to make any formal budgetary decisions, but they did approve a High Density Mineral Bond contract. The Streets Division will try to complete a pavement preservation project utilizing this bond. The contract with the city of Goodyear will be used for this project. That will provide the best unit price due to the large quantities utilized by Goodyear.