You’re cruising along one of Douglas’s roads. Suddenly, you see it – a massive pothole directly ahead, which there isn’t time to avoid. You screech to a near-halt, but it does little to soften the thud of your vehicle’s fender against unforgiving asphalt.
The sickening lurch of a vehicle nearly bottoming out on asphalt seems to be an all-too-common occurrence along a few of our city’s streets.
Luckily for the vehicles of our city, a number of streets are on the council’s agenda to be repaired this summer and into next year. Two blocks are set to be repaired along North Fifth Street and North Second Street, both from Center Street to Cedar Street. About three blocks off Cedar Street are also on track to be repaired, from North Fourth Street to the railroad tracks. Also, there are plans for construction along Wind River Drive and Pearson Road, both residential streets.
“Most of these, I’m sure, we’re not going to be able to do until next spring, and it’ll probably overlap into our next budget year,” City Administrator Jonathan Tiechert explained.
The city has estimated the road construction and repair will cost $5.5 million. This amount is possible largely because of this year’s spike in sales and use taxes, which have allowed budget revenues to be higher than expected, according to Tiechert.
A project along Oak Street is also in the works, which is estimated at $415,000. An irrigation line is being constructed under the street from Washington Park to the cemetery, which will increase water capacity for nearby residents. Teichert explained that the water system is maxed out, and this irrigation work will help solve this issue.
For minor cracks and blemishes, $200,000 is being put toward slurry sealing on various streets.
While hiring contractors for these jobs, the city will go to an open bid process. Teichert said that, in the past, there have been upwards of 12 to 15 bidders present at mandatory pre-bid meetings, but they are usually pleased with three to four bids.
When choosing a final contractor, there is a five percent preference given to Wyoming companies.
“If we can, we’d like to see Wyoming companies and especially local contractors get these bids,” Teichert said.