According to the Bible, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Likewise, homeowners on a suburban street in Pima County, in metro Tucson, have been wandering in the desert for 40 years why their street hasn’t been repaved.
To the last point, below is a complaint sent by an unidentified citizen to Pima County, via the website, SeeClickFix.com.
Our road has not been repaved or repaired in over 40 years
Stonehouse Place (south of Ocotillo) has been bypassed for repaving in favor of repaving the north portion of Stonehouse Place that had already been repaired once and has now been repaved. Residents of over 40 years have said that outside of a minimal amount of now failing patches, our road has never seen any repairs. I am requesting that you review and approve our portion of Stonehouse for repaving.
Can it be true that the road has been neglected for 40 years? Absolutely.
My wife and I walk 150 miles of county roads and neighborhood streets a month, just as we used to walk large swaths of the center city of Tucson before moving to the county. The horrible conditions of roads and neighborhood streets match what the frustrated citizen described above. However, they don’t match the information on the Pima County website.
The county understates on the website the severity of road conditions. Likewise, its new ten-year plan and cost estimate for rectifying the conditions and making up for decades of deferred maintenance is poppycock.
Even roads that were repaved several years ago are deteriorating so rapidly that the county will be far from catching up in ten years and might be further behind by then. A staggering number of miles of roadways are at the extreme level of what’s known in the pavement business as alligatoring, spalling, flushing, and raveling.
For many of the deteriorated roads, it’s way too late for patching, crack sealing, seal coating, and even milling and repaving. They will have to be rebuilt from the ground up.
It’s hard to believe, but scores of neighborhood streets are in worse shape than arterial and connector roads. At least the county screws rich and poor neighborhoods alike. Streets in neighborhoods of million-dollar homes are just as bad as streets where the poor live.
Busy Kolb Rd. north of Sunrise is an example of the consequences of deferred maintenance. Cracks three inches wide and hundreds of feet long have opened up in the center of the northbound and southbound lanes. Chunks of asphalt are kicked up by cars into the bike lane, where they remain a hazard for months, because street sweeping is infrequent, unlike the twice-a-month sweeping performed by well-run cities for similarly busy roads.
Near where Kolb becomes Craycroft, gullies have formed at the edge of the pavement due to poor maintenance and poor design. The county’s solution? Throw rocks the size of basketballs into the gullies. Imagine straying off the pavement and hitting those.
Although this road is designated a scenic county road, the county does not pick up the considerable volume of litter and trash discarded along it. Nor do property owners whose property fronts the road. They leave it to my wife and me and to a gentleman in his eighties to do so every day along a three-mile stretch.
Israelites put blood on their doors so that they would be passed over by the plague. The county has let roads deteriorate so that the metropolis would be passed over by high-paying companies looking for a place to locate their headquarters and major operations.