San Jose Begins Its Biggest Street Repair Program Yet

The city of San Jose is set to make more street repairs this year than it has ever done, about 280 miles worth when all is said and done.

But cost and wage increases are preventing the city from doing even more roadwork.

Funding sources such as Measure T, which voters approved in November, are making it possible to get to that 280-mile total. By comparison, in 2013, the city was only able to work on 10 miles of streets.

Flint Avenue is one of the first streets on the list, and crews will be there for the rest of the month. It's a major project, one of many the city will see in the coming months, after years of neglect.

Crews began tearing into Flint Avenue early Monday morning, scraping more than an inch of asphalt off the ground. Like many streets in San Jose, Flint was in disrepair.

"I have brand new tires on my car," resident Frances Tenori said. "You don’t think I like to drive through it? No I don’t."

Rick Scott of the Department of Transportation said on a scale of zero to 100, the average is about a 66: "That’s what would be called fair condition."

The city still has to defer some projects, like roadwork on the Highway 101-Alum Rock overpass. The reason: Cost of maintenance has skyrocketed.

"We saw unanticipated amounts of increases, and that’s primarily due to increases in the prevailing wage and construction costs," Scott said. "We predicted increases, just not in the amount that we’ve seen."

In one case, the price for sealing the streets with new asphalt shot up by 81 percent compared with last year, Scott said.

Smart budgeting and the bond measure have allowed the city to make most of the repairs on its list.

During the work, the city asks residents to abide by the "No parking" signs. Vehicles could be hit by flying gravel if not towed first.

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