City streets crews to see expanded workload

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 19:00:56-05

CORPSU CHRISTI, Texas — City Streets Dept. crews will soon see more changes than just the way they fix potholes as part of the new Public Works Director's plan to streamline the department.

Corpus Christi's streets are in rough shape. City Manager Peter Zanoni believes that's not only bad for residents, it's a bad first impression for visitors.

"We're a great city, we have a lot of great things going on, and we need to demonstrate that in our infrastructure, and the first one we see is our streets," said Zanoni.

Some streets need to be rebuilt completely, while others need maintenance or minor repairs. Right now, all street work is contracted out, something the city's Public Works Director Richard Martinez doesn't understand.

"We have some tools that we haven't used in a few years," said Martinez. "We have an overlay machine, we have a lay-down machine that's sitting there."

Martinez wants his crews on the job when it comes to maintenance and minor repairs. The city has two programs for street maintenance; the Street Preventative Maintenance Program for arterial and collector streets, and the Residential Street Maintenance Program. Martinez says using his crews will speed up those projects by up to a year.

"We'll have the ability to jump in and do that roadway without having on the design time, and wait for it to be bid out," said Martinez.
Martinez would like city crews to handle arterial and collector projects in about six months, and residential maintenance projects in a year or two. Meanwhile, Zanoni stresses patience.

"We have to rebuild the team, we have to retrain, we have to buy new equipment, we have to learn processes all over again," said Zanoni.

Martinez says complete street reconstructions will still be bid out to contractors. He added the city is also looking to hire several new workers... To help handle their new workload.