Fixing Fresno's pothole problems

FRESNO, Calif.

The city of Fresno is no stranger to problems with its streets. From uneven roads to potholes, drivers never know what they'll encounter.

Fresno resident Robert Reyes said, "This is home, this is where it should be nice, this is where we have a big problem."

Reyes has lived in East Central Fresno for years and has been fed up over a bumpy problem in his neighborhood.

"Just look at the streets," said Reyes. "They come down every now and then after it rains and you'll see potholes this big and they got to come and refill them and then it rains and they refill them."

Wednesday morning, council member Paul Caprioglio, Steve Brandau, Lee Brand, and Mayor Ashley Swearengin gathered outside Reyes' home to announce major plans.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin said, "I will propose to double the funds going to paving and overlay projects throughout the city of Fresno in my next proposed budget, that will be released in May and adopted in June."

The city is in charge of maintaining 3,500 miles of roads and officials say they only spend $1.7 million. They hope to double that thanks to federal grant dollars and one-time general fund dollars.

In the future, city officials want to maintain streets by reallocating Measure C funds, but they'll have to ask the council of Fresno County governments to amend the 2006 measure.

Fresno Council of Governments Exec. Dir. Tony Boren said, "But since then high speed rail has been approved so that's going to take care of a lot of the grade separations over and under crossings that were going to be done by the rail consolidation and we haven't really found a use for the tech money."

The board will reach out to city residents to determine, where they want their money to be used. But officials are hoping they can put those dollars into repairing our city streets.

Officials say the city only spends a fraction of what other cities spend on street maintenance. Ideally, they would spend $15 to $18 million a year. Now they spend $1.7 million.

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