KAMLOOPS — Increased traffic, heavier vehicles, and harsher winters are all working to break down city roads faster than in years past.
Now, many main roads — and some side roads — in the city are in line to be fully redone in the next few years.
"We're aware our arterial and collector roads are in a challening condition," said city streets and environmental services manager Glen Farrow. "Over the last five years, we've seen them decrease from a PQI of 80 down to 75. With that, they are trending downward, and because of that downward trend in our pavement quality, it's needed to really put more money into the asphalt."
Every two years, the city hires an engineering company to check the PQI, or pavement quality index, which has slipped. The city is asking for $600,000 over the next three years to fix roads in need or repairs, and eventually that would continue in the budget moving forward.
"A $200,000 ask each of the next three years, so in the end there would be an additional $600,000 annually starting in 2020 going toward roads within our community," noted Farrow.
This is all part of the city's asset management plan, and the finance department says getting ahead of the road repairs will save taxpayers money down the road.
"The intent of being proactive on fixing the roads is to get the roads repaired in a timely manner, so that they don't deteriorate to the point where we have to redo the entire road," said city finance director Kathy Humphrey. "So by adding the $600,000 to the budget in these next three years and ongoing, it keeps us from having to spend millions to replace it."
The current capital funding is $2 million to resurface arterial roads and $1 million to repair collector roads. The city says the goal is to get most major roads redone in the next decade.
"A lot of these roads that we're talking about — Lac Le Jeune, Barnhartvale Road, Fortune, Columbia, Summit, Springhill — there are an awful lot of those main arterial roads in our community that are limping along with the ongoing operational funds," said Farrow. "But they're beyond that point. They need full renewal. So that's what we're looking to do over the next couple years."
Farrow says the first big capital road project to start next summer is McGill Road from Bunker Road to the university.
City council will officially discuss the budget increase in the new year.
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