North Texas

Denton Facing Costly Repairs on Crumbling Streets

In Denton, street crews are facing a costly fix of crumbling streets.

Some concrete streets in the city's newer neighborhoods aren't lasting as long as they should. In response, the city has made changes specifications for new construction, and has stepped up inspections.

In North Texas, spring is construction season.

"It is impossible, I think, to avoid construction," said Bridget Bem, who lives in a south Denton neighbourhood. "There are a lot of bumpy streets."

Bem lives right down the street from construction which wasn't supposed to happen so soon. Streets, which are built to last decades, are falling apart in just years.

"The problem we've been having is pavement failures in roads which are just out of warranty," said Daniel Kremer, Denton's deputy director of operations.

The warranty is two years -- on streets which are supposed to last 20 to 30 years. So far, the city has spent about $5 million to repair or replace close to seven lane-miles of concrete streets. Many of them are in newer neighborhoods. Kremer estimates an addition $1 million to $2 million a year will be spent on repairs.

"That's kind of upsetting," said Bem. "To think of tax money spent on something that was supposed to last."

Several factors could be to blame. Certain soil types naturally shift -- causing roads to shift or buckle. Old city specifications for the amount of base beneath the concrete contributed to the problem, according to city officials. Those specs have since been beefed up.

"With our increased standards, we won't be able to eliminate it," said Kremer. "But we'll drastically reduce the chance of this happening."

For residents, construction means detours.

"It really does make you modify your schedule," said Bem.

For folks her neighborhood -- just another sign of the season.

"It's good that they're making the improvements," she said. "It's not good when the improvements are being made. It's always a hassle."

Contact Us