North 20th Street in Denison, from the intersection with Ridge Road north to the T-intersection with Frontier Road, has been in bad shape for a number of years.
It has been patched in the past using concrete but the asphalt surface continues to break up.
Now the City of Denison will take another look at the street following the presentation of a petition at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
First Ward Councilman David Loeschen, who lives in the vicinity of the street, read the petition, which was signed by 90 individuals.
The petition said the following.
- It is dangerous to drive on that stretch of North 20th Street, as well as to walk on or for children to ride their bikes on.
Holes in the road are so big and rough that motorists have to swerve to avoid them.
- North 20th is heavily traveled
- Repairs have been made in the past but don’t seem to last; the asphalt is cracked and buckled and sometimes loose chunks of asphalt are on the street.
The petitioners urged the city leaders to act now to make repairs.
Asked what could be done now, City Manager/City Engineer Terry Crawford responded, “The only thing we can do for now is to patch. We can’t afford to replace the street because we don’t have a way to fund it.”
He compared that to last year’s project on North 10th Street for which a DOT grant paid for about 70 percent of the cost.
Loeschen asked about adding curb and gutter to the street when it is repaired.
Crawford said a feasibility study should be conducted.
“If we go to curb and gutter, we’re going from a rural section to an urban section where we drain the adjacent property to the street, so we would need to widen it,” he explained.
The city manager continued that unfortunately, years ago when that section of North 20th Street was resurfaced, it was done without much grading.
“That’s kind of the way things were done back then,” Crawford said. “In hindsight, which is beautiful, we probably should have graded it then and made sure those crests and sagged curbs met with appropriate sight distance.”
Crawford agreed that the section of North 20th Street is a safety problem.
“The petitioners hit the nail on the head with that,” he said.
Crawford explained that it would be a major project to regrade and resurface the section of North 20th Street.
It has been in the city’s street improvement plans, and projects on the five-year and 10-year plans can be moved up or delayed, depending on circumstances.
“But we’re always fighting funding,” he said, “trying to do street work and street improvements without raising taxes.”
Second Ward Councilman John Granzen asked if Crawford and Doug Wiebers, the director of public works, could look at the street to see what parts could be cut out and patched with concrete.
“We’ve tried to do that,” said Wiebers. “We pour the concrete – put a patch in the road – and the asphalt next to it breaks up. It’s a never ending battle.”
He later added, “It just needs to be torn up and built right.”
But he continued that a reconstruction project on North 20th Street would have to be done all by local money as no state or federal grants are available for the street.
North 20th Street dead-ends a distance beyond the T-intersection with Frontier Road.
Crawford said he would like to study what could be done on North 20th Street and come back with a recommendation.