Most of Ralston Avenue between Staples and Alameda looks great now, but that wasn’t always the case.
“It looked like a bomb had struck in here,” said Betty Rhodes. “We had lots and lots of potholes.”
The city picked Ralston as well as Rogerson Drive as the first subjects for its new Residential Street Rebuild Project. City officials call them "test projects"; in essence, they’re trial and error projects.
“We wanted to see what we could learn from these projects,” said city spokesperson Michelle Villarreal Leschper. “We’re in people’s neighborhoods; we’re in front of their houses.”
The projects call for new pavement, new sidewalks, as well as utility work. Both projects were supposed to be done by the end of May. Rogerson is finished, but crews on Ralston fell behind schedule.
That project is now expected to be done at the end of July.
“A lot of different little things can affect a construction date,” said Leschper. “For instance, there was some additional utility work that wasn’t originally planned and we had to go ahead and address it.”
Meanwhile, Ralston residents like Rhodes appreciate the city fixing the street. They just wish the project would have been done on time in order to limit disruption to their daily routines.
“They’re working at it, even though they’re slower than molasses in January,” said Rhodes. “But, they’re working at it.”
Meanwhile city officials stress patience.
“It may be a little bit behind schedule, but when it’s done it’s going to be a completely brand new road. We’re hopeful they’re going to love it” said Leschper.
Ralston Ave is the only active RSRP work going on right now. Several other projects, funded by Bond 2016 are slated to start this summer. The city is currently accepting bids for those projects.