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Public works hears from community about speeding up street repairs

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Posted at 9:27 PM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-23 15:39:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi city officials have repeatedly said they’re trying to correct decades of neglect to the roadways. So, they’re introducing the new, improved Infrastructure Management Plan (IMP) to residents hoping for their feedback. The city has held public hearings in Districts 4 and 5 last week and held their third in District 1 on Monday.

“You’re going to be able to see the difference when you drive around it’s going to be something that’s going to be noticeable,” Ernesto De La Garza said, director of public works.

The city’s current IMP, would take over 60 years to get roads up to standards. It would cost upwards of $900 million, according to De La Garza. It focuses on complete maintenance and doesn't emphasize the absolute worst roads to drive on. The plan calls for complete rehabilitation of certain roadways, sometimes including utilities and curbs.

Under the proposed new plan, De La Garza said it would take 12 years to get caught up. The new plan proposes a full pavement of the roadways with no reconstruction of curbs and doesn't include utility work. De La Garza estimates it will cost around $180 million.

“You eliminate the need for pothole repairs because now we’ve done a full run of resurfacing and repaving base materials. So that, that whole roadway is no longer a 311 call that we’re going to get at the office,”De La Garza said.

Corpus Christi roads have been given a score 0 to100 and the worst roads will move to the front of the line in the new IMP.

While addressing the worst roads first, roads will be tackled in clusters at a time.

“We actually started a pilot program where we did this approach and we finished a cluster of seven, eight streets, it’s around that number. But, we did that whole cluster in a month. And so, what used to take 6 to 11 months, depending on how much utility work we were doing, we're finishing in a very short amount of time," said De La Garza.

There is skepticism over the plan.

“You guys created the plan to begin with, and you didn’t fulfill that plan. And now, you got to change the plan again because, oh wait we didn’t take care of it all these years,” said Rachel Caballero, one of the few residents to attend the third public hearing.

Other residents harped on how long it's taken for the roads that they live on to be addressed, many yet to be addressed.

The city will be holding public hearings for District 2 and 3, the plan will come before city council for approval and work could begin immediately this summer.

The city website shows the current IMP and the plans for reconstruction. You can find that here. If the new plan is adopted, that information will be on the city's website.

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