Road repair efforts in full force after storms create fresh potholes around Fresno

Friday, January 27, 2023
Road repair efforts in full force after storms create fresh potholes around Fresno
Crews have been working around the clock to fix potholes in the roads across Fresno.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Heavy rain and massive storms in Central California have taken a toll on our local roadways, creating pothole problems for drivers in Fresno.

Street service crews have been working around the clock fixing these craters in the roads across the city.

In a press conference at city hall on Thursday, Mayor Jerry Dyer along with other city leaders praised the public works employees for all of their hard work during the recent storms. City leaders also discussed long-term ways to fix the deeper pothole problem.

The mayor said, "But the truth is we do not have sufficient funding for repaving. I believe we are somewhere around $500 million behind schedule in terms of our paving of streets -- and so the older the street, the more cracks it gets, when it rains heavy storm water seeps through those cracks and we end up getting the erosion affect and ultimately a pothole."

In 2021 the city had an expert consulting firm analyze every mile of the city to develop pavement ratings.

Citywide-one-third of the streets are in good condition, one-third are in the fair-at-risk category, and a third of city streets are in poor condition.

Public works director Scott Mozier said there's a lot of work that needs to be done soon. "The City of Fresno average rating is 60 which puts us in the fair or at-risk condition, at risk because without proper investment of maintenance dollars, those will slip into poor condition," Mozier said.

According to the director, it will cost the city 35 million dollars annually to maintain existing roads. However, if the city wanted to improve the roads, and increase pavement ratings, that cost would balloon to 51 million a year.

Mayor Jerry Dyer said leveraging state and federal dollars will be critical. "We at the local level are going to be stressing to the federal government as well as the state government that our needs are most pressing in neighborhoods on city streets," the mayor said.

In the next year and a half, the mayor will also be pushing for Measure C, which will also help to repave the streets.

Right now, the city has budgeted for 19 miles of roadway to be repaved in the McKinley-Van Ness-City College area, on Kings Canyon Road between Maple and Chestnut, and on Barstow between Blackstone and Fresno.

Plus, $1.6 million has been allocated to preventative maintenance - focusing on 28 miles in the city. Also, $5 million has been budgeted for one mile - on First street between Tulare and Olive.

City Manager Georgeanne White reminded the group about the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District was formed in the 1950s.

White along with other city leaders highlighted how tree trimming and water infrastructure, like the ponding basin system, prevented major damage in Fresno during recent storms. "That system that we have in Fresno is very unique for a large urban city," White said.

City Council President Tyler Maxwell hopes the city continues to make long-term investments for years to come.

"Making those kinds of investments early on proactively, that might not be appreciated at the time we make those investments saved our butts these last couple of weeks. And we need to continue being proactive going forward," Maxwell said.

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