Mesquite Has $380 Million Backlog in Street Repairs

City trying to figure out how to pay for repairs

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012  |  Updated 8:46 PM CDT
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Residents in Mesquite say their city streets have gone downhill and the city says it will cost $380 million to make necessary repairs.

Tammy Mutasa, Mesquite Reporter

Residents in Mesquite say their city streets have gone downhill and the city says it will cost $380 million to make necessary repairs.

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Mesquite residents say they are fed up with the city's $380 million backlog in street repairs.

The city is behind in replacing about 120 miles of residential and major streets.

Mesquite officials say the streets are bad for several reasons: the drought over the past few years, population growth and age of the city. Sixty percent of the Mesquite's streets are at least 40 years old.

Richard Hogue said the rundown roads in his neighborhood are dangerous.

"I've been thrown out of my wheelchair," he said. "I've had my wheelchair turn over driving down my street at night. I'm angry and upset. I like to get out and move around just like everybody else does."

"I want them to come and repair the street, make it level, make it a safe place where you can get down it without turning your wheelchair over," Hogue said.

Longtime resident Brad Underwood said he has addressed the City Council about streets.

"The number is so high, it's never going to be fixed in my lifetime," he said. "I mean, you're talking a lot of money."

The city is trying to add $1 million per year into the city budget toward fixing streets.

City leaders said residential streets do not qualify for their 4BFund, a special quality-of-life fund set aside for some city services.

Underwood said he is concerned that bad streets would affect property values.

"What's happened is, the property values are going down, and quality streets lead to good economic development," he said. "Quality streets lead to quality homes, quality neighborhoods."

Shanel White lives on Alexandria Drive, one of the streets rated as needing the most reconstruction.

"If you go one street over to the left or the right, this looks like a whole different country," White said.

The city said it has spent $16.5 million on transportation projects in the past 13 years. Most of the money was from state and federal funding.

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