CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A day after a Corpus Christi Engineering Services leader addressed potholes that have popped up along a newly, partially resurfaced portion of Ocean Drive, City Manager Peter Zanoni also weighed in on those potholes and a host of other street-related issues.
In regards to the potholes in the northbound lanes between Airline Rd. and Louisiana Ave., Zanoni had a similar message to the one relayed by the Engineering Services assistant director.
They both say the potholes reveal problem-areas under the first of two layers of asphalt that workers will fix before adding the second layer.
“In some areas, it's undetectable until the layer’s placed on and excessive driving is going over it," Zanoni said. "This is a natural part of the business process of replacing a road like this."
Zanoni also addressed complaints from some residents who would have rather seen the city completely rebuild Ocean Dr. instead of using the mill and overlay method that critics say won't be as durable.
“That turns into a very expensive proposition," Zanoni said. "So the $12 million project would have been four or five-fold had we done that in-depth of a reclamation project."
Ocean Dr. is certainly not the only road project that the city has taken on since hiring Zanoni in April of 2019.
Zanoni believes the more than $430 million in spending on streets in the last three city budgets is the most ever for Corpus Christi in a three-year span.
"This city council, and myself, and the team we’ve assembled here over the past three years, are focused more than ever on streets," Zanoni said. "We know that that is priority number one for the community."
He also points out that the city is saving money by retraining public works crews to do some street maintenance instead of hiring contractors for all projects. And Zanoni points to March 1, when new design standards go into effect for new subdivisions with the goal of developers building roads within them that last 30 years or more.
But even with all of those efforts, Zanoni urges people to be patient when it comes to roads, because he says the city has a bad history of taking care of them.
“Our pothole situation is another good example of decades of neglect," Zanoni said. "And so when you don’t address your streets in a timely manner — you don’t maintain them properly — after decades of doing that, you run into the trouble that we’re in as a city."