Editorial: Albany's infrastructure needs improvements

Editorial: Albany's infrastructure needs improvements

We hear from residents every day, Albany's roads need lots of improvements. The big question is how to pay for all the repairs.

Tuesday, city officials started discussions on how to accomplish some big goals.

Most agreed roads had to be the top priority.

Albany city officials say roads full of potholes not only hurt your quality of life, but could even cost new jobs.

"All roads lead to economic development. If our infrastructure is strong and sound, I think it helps position us for future economic development," said Albany City Manager Sharon Subadan.

On 16th Avenue, a water pipe burst and caused the street to cave in. The city infrastructure has lots of concerns like this, starting with the roads, which bring in lots of complaints.

There are 550 miles of streets in the city limits, and the average street age is 50 years old. 37 percent of Albany streets are rated in very poor or poor condition.

It would cost $25 million to get them back to satisfactory condition, but the resurfacing budget comes up $3.14 million short each year. So the problem gets worse.

The roads only have a useful life of about 15 years.  So you have to apply new asphalt to keep them in good condition.

City leaders want to discuss borrowing money or seeking grants to repair the infrastructure sooner rather than later.

Now that city commissioners have the facts, they need to quickly consider those funding options. Because road experts say delaying resurfacing the roads will lead to much more costly road repairs needed in the future.

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