From minor maintenance to major repair to total reconstruction, street work will continue to be a high priority in both Texarkanas this year.
City crews on both sides of the state line will complete street projects delayed by inclement weather last year and move on to others expected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Financed through a new major maintenance fund in the city budget, the Texarkana, Texas, Public Works Department spent about $2.8 million on street work in 2018. Money left in the fund last year rolled over, adding more than $165,000 to this year's major maintenance budget of $500,000, Public Works Director Dusty Henslee said.
Most of the 95 projects begun on the Texas side last year are finished, but 13 of the 28 street reconstructions on the list remain in progress, their completion delayed by fall and winter rain.
The work has taken place in every part of Texarkana, Texas, and has included sealing, resurfacing, concrete replacement, and removing and rebuilding whole streets from the ground up.
Reconstructions still in progress include segments of Ashley Street, Findley Street, Lucas Street, Madison Drive, Marion Street, Oakhill Road, Plant Street, Stillwell Drive, Utah Street, West 22nd Street, West 37th Street and West 38th Street.
In 2017, the city commissioned Orlando, Fla.-based Data Transfer Solutions to conduct a complete pavement condition survey. The company used vans equipped with digital cameras and laser devices to capture images of pavement at 25-foot intervals.
DTS software and engineers then rated the images, scored street segments on a 100-point scale called the Pavement Condition Index and created a prioritized, five-year list of projects.
When last year's projects are completed, Public Works will return to the DTS list and create a new slate of street-work priorities for 2019, Henslee said.
Working with a smaller streets budget, the Arkansas side has made progress under Public Works Director Tyler Richards' "One Street at a Time" initiative, a new plan focusing efforts on a single major project a year. The idea is to solve the fundamental drainage and subgrade problems causing street failure, increasing the new streets' lifespans and decreasing long-term maintenance costs.
The Arkansas-side Public Works Department completed a reconstruction of Sanderson Lane in the fall, which included replacing the road bed to a depth of 2 feet, Richards said. Weather delayed resurfacing Hastings Crossing, but that project will resume in the spring.
This year's major project is East 50th Street between Jefferson Avenue and Sanderson Lane, which the city plans to rebuild at an estimated cost of $175,000 beginning around the end of July. In the fall, the city will also do work costing $45,000 on Cherry Street south of East 35th Street.
A grant of $1 million from the federal Economic Development Agency will fund an overhaul of U of A Way between Four States Parkway and Fair Park Drive. In addition to rebuilding the street, drainage issues will be addressed, pedestrian crosswalks added, and concrete curbs and gutters constructed.
Work will also begin soon on resurfacing East 19th Street, a project funded by a state grant.
Richards emphasized that Public Works will continue to do routine maintenance of the city's streets, including repairing potholes and sealing cracks.