More than 40 miles of streets and parkways are paved or seal coated in 2009
Dec. 21, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) Dozens of miles of city streets and parkways were worked on by City crews in 2009, making it a very busy year for Minneapolis Public Works. From seal coating to complete road reconstruction, workers have been making significant progress restoring and improving streets in Minneapolis.
A total of 41.2 miles of streets and parkways were resurfaced or seal coated during this past construction season. Much of this work was due to funding from the $22.6 million Accelerated Infrastructure Program, which was approved by Mayor R.T. Rybak and the City Council last December.
"Over the past several years, drastic cuts in State aid to Minneapolis meant that our street-maintenance program could no longer keep up with the need to repair deteriorating streets around Minneapolis," Rybak said. "So in 2008, we tapped a rainy-day fund in order to add the Accelerated Infrastructure Program to our regular maintenance efforts. In just the first year of the program, we have resurfaced or seal coated an extra 27 miles of roadway. By the end of 2013, we will improve one-third of all heavily-used City arterial streets and parkways.
"With this program, we’re investing in our streets today and are avoiding paying much more down the line. As a result our accelerated efforts, it’s easier for people to get to work and get around in Minneapolis, and it’s easier for our businesses to do business in Minneapolis."
Street projects are generally funded through the City’s Capital Improvements Program and the general maintenance program. However, this funding was not keeping pace with the decline of street conditions. The Accelerated Infrastructure Program is helping get street projects worked on sooner, slowing the decline of street conditions and making better roadways for all drivers.
"Making sure that our roads are in good shape is one of the most basic functions of our City government, and we need to keep doing it even in the face of budget cuts or else we are creating a deficit for others to fill in the future," said Council Member Colvin Roy, who chairs the Transportation and Public Works Committee. "I am proud of what our road crews accomplished in 2009. By improving our roads, they helped make Minneapolis a safer place for residents and visitors."
The goal of the 5-year Accelerated Infrastructure Program was to enhance the established Capital Infrastructure Program and the City’s regular upkeep to address growing need for maintenance on streets, alleys, trails, light poles and signals.
"We have more than a thousand miles of streets and parkways in Minneapolis, which is a lot of roadway to maintain," said Public Works Director Steve Kotke. "Thanks to the Accelerated Infrastructure Program, we can get a better handle on this maintenance. Seal coating streets now gives our streets an additional seven to ten years of life, avoiding street reconstructions that are far more costly."
Rybak and Kotke discussed the 2009 construction season Monday at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, which is on Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis. Both the hospital and the street have been undergoing major reconstruction. The City and Children’s Hospital have worked together to make sure Chicago Avenue could get rebuilt to serve everyone’s needs.
In addition to street maintenance, Public works have restriped around three miles of streets to accommodate bicycle traffic. This includes dedicated bicycle lanes and shared bicycle-vehicle lanes. Crews have also disconnected 19 spots where stormwater enters the sanitary sewer system. In addition, about eight miles of water mains that deliver tap water to residents were cleaned and lined.
Published Dec. 21, 2009