Officials in the Lake Cities say that increased traffic resulting from recent growth has caused many area roads to age prematurely.
Between 2000 and 2012, Shady Shores, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas and Corinth each grew between 15 and 76 percent, bringing nearly 12,000 more residents into the area. And according to area officials, some roads were not built for heavy travel.
In Lake Dallas, officials are preparing to start a $2.2 million project to make improvements along Lakeview Drive.
“If you’ve driven on Lake Dallas streets, you probably believe that we have a lot of work to do, and you wouldn’t be wrong,” said City Manager Earl Berner, who retired last week after eight years in Lake Dallas.
Berner said he blames increased traffic for the problem, and he said he believes that investing in preventable maintenance could help roads last longer, saving money.
After conducting a town-wide survey of area roads, a Shady Shores engineer identified and recommended that more than 20 streets be reconstructed, even though most of the roads were last repaired within the last 10 years.
Shady Shores Mayor Jerry Williams also blames the decaying roads on increased traffic.
The engineer estimated that the repairs could cost nearly $4 million. A Shady Shores road committee recommended that the council begin budgeting for preventable maintenance each year to reduce future costs and to extend the life of town roads.
Shady Shores officials said not every road can be fixed in one budget year without a substantial tax increase, but officials said every option will be explored.
A Shady Shores road committee suggested in November that to slow future road decay, the Town Council should begin annually budgeting for road repairs and maintenance.
Committee chairwoman Judith Halaszyn said the committee agreed that if future investments are not made, the roads could worsen.
Shady Shores and Lake Dallas officials said they hope to have the construction started by spring.
In the city of Corinth, voters chose to implement a street maintenance tax to conduct preventable maintenance. In May 2004, Corinth voters elected to dedicate a quarter-cent sales tax to roadway maintenance, and in 2008 and again in 2012, voters supported continuation of the tax.
According to the Corinth’s budget, the city has $800,000 in its street maintenance reserves and the tax is expected to generate about $274,000 dedicated to roadwork.
During a September Council meeting, Corinth officials said that the tax has helped the city replace and repair its aging and worn infrastructures without having to worry about funding.
The city has allocated more than $600,000 in its budget this year to road repair and maintenance. Council members suggested that the town is expected to spend about $2 million in road repairs over the next two to three years.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .