by MATTHEW NASH
The City of Sequim’s 54 miles of streets rated good in a recent study, according to Paul Haines, city public works director.
He presented results of an early February study by Capital Asset & Pavement Services, Inc. on May 14 to city councilors. The contractor drove and tested each road based on the pavement condition investment (PCI) rating system. Sequim rated a 74 out of 100.
“For a town our size, we’re doing well,” Haines said. “We’ve got some time to equip and find more money. It just doesn’t appear.”
Private streets within the city were asked to participate in the study. Two neighborhoods paid to be involved in the study.
“Our arterials are in better shape than our neighborhood streets,” he said. “About 30 percent of residential roads are in bad shape, whereas 18 percent of arterials are in bad shape.”
Haines said some of the roads in the worst condition are West Sequim Bay Road, Prairie Street, Seventh Avenue and Sunnyside Avenue.
Haines suggested that continual maintenance is the best method for savings long term.
He showed a slide with the costs of chip sealing a road three times over a period of time is cheaper than reconstructing it.
“The more money we spend on less expensive resurfacing, the cheaper it is in the long term,” Haines said. “It’s a pattern that has to be put into place.”
Currently, the city has budgeted $691,000 for street improvements in 2012 with $261,000 of that from a one-year grant. In later years, $430,000 is budgeted for improvements annually.
The study showed that the city must spend $8.5 million over the next five years to improve its PCI standing to “optimal,” or a score of 84. This budget projection exceeds the current plan by about $3.8 million.
“If we continue doing what we do now, streets will continue to decline,” Haines said.
The city isn’t spending anything on preventative road maintenance.
Haines said the city’s next step is targeting funds, which can come from a variety of pools, including water and sewer grants.
The study will come up again in the city’s budget for next year as councilors decide on road projects.
See the study online at www.sequimwa.gov.