Costly Fix For Denton's Poor Roads

One North Texas city known for road construction could soon see a lot more of it. The city of Denton says a quarter of city-maintained roads are in poor shape, and may need to be ripped up and replaced.

Fixing Denton's streets will be costly -- $250 million dollars. If approved, the repair and replacement of roads would be bonded over five years.

Chris Hermanns of Dallas is a salesman, who makes regular trips to Denton. He was asked to describe the drive on the city’s older roads.

"Well, you could ask my car that," he laughed.  "I'm sure my alignment has been shaken a couple times."

Denton City Council received a report on the status of the city's streets and roads this week. Overall, it wasn't positive.

"What you look at, is it's the first thing you see when you come into town," said Daniel Kremer, deputy director of operations for the city.

Kremer said years of highway program under-funding, and asphalt topping which wasn't thick enough, are partly to blame. Heat, and soft North Texas clay are also factors. 

"The problem is now we're trying to dig ourselves out of a hole," he said.  "It's going to take some time and some dollars."

Denton road crews are already fixing or replacing many roads, but crews can hardly keep up. Two years ago, twenty percent of roads received "poor" or "very poor" ratings. Now, the problem is worse, and the need to replace roads has grown.

"Really, it's to the point where there's not a whole lot we can do but go rip the whole street out," Kremer said.

For Hermanns and others who frequently drive in Denton, a smoother ride would be a welcome one.

"I would thank it, my car would thank it," he said. "My wallet would as well, because I wouldn't have to keep getting my alignment fixed."

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