City Details the $10 Million in Additional Street Maintenance Work

Marlene Feist, 509.625.6505

Monday, April 27, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

Updated 04/28/2020

The City of Spokane has identified about 30 additional lane miles of street maintenance work that will be completed in 2020 and 2021 as a result of an additional $10 million in street investment planned to aid the community’s economic recovery. The new projects will double the lane miles that will receive maintenance work during these two years.

Plans for the additional investment were announced on April 15, along with the start of the 2020 construction season and its $70 million in public infrastructure construction work.

“Our added street maintenance investment helps the traveling public and the local economy,” says Mayor Nadine Woodward. “Good-paying construction jobs are critical as we work toward recovery and maintaining the gains we’ve made in slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

Additional grind and overlay and chip seal work will be contracted out to the private sector and will complement the work already planned for 2020 and 2021 by the Street Department. Street Department crews expected to complete another 29 miles of grind and overlay projects during those two years. Work is spread throughout the City, improving conditions for all users of the street system.

With this new investment, the City also has launched a new effort on using chip seal on the City’s arterial system; typically, the City has only used chip seal on residential streets. The chip seal process involves applying a layer of liquid asphalt followed by a layer of small rock chips. Applied at the right time, this technique helps to lengthen the life of a street at significantly less cost than a traditional grind and overly.

The additional investment also includes a ramp up of crack sealing work, which is the first line of defense in protecting a street. Crack sealing keeps water from getting into the cracks in the asphalt that lead to potholes and other damage.

“Adding $10 million in street maintenance during these two years is very significant,” says Spokane Public Works Director Scott Simmons. “The additional investment totals about 10 percent of the amount that has been invested in our street system over the last five years. Our citizens will notice the difference.”

A comprehensive street maintenance strategy is a key component of the City’s 20-year arterial street plan that’s designed to raise the overall condition of the arterial street system and to maintain those streets over time.

Maintenance work allows the City to “keep the good streets good.” Crack sealing, chip sealing, and grind and overlay maintenance work effectively extend the life of streets that have been reconstructed. The work also can be used to keep streets usable until more expensive repairs can be scheduled.

A list and a map of the maintenance work for 2020 and 2021 is attached.

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