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Maximizing the use of limited funds

Albany residents are concerned about our streets. We hear you. Albany streets are in a state of decline. We're not alone. Aging infrastructure, including streets, is a challenge for communities across the country. Find out here about the condition of Albany streets, how they are maintained, and the challenge of keeping them in good shape while meeting other community goals.

How do we keep good roads in good condition while improving those that need to be completely rebuilt? It is more cost effective to keep good roads good than it is to let them completely deteriorate and be rebuilt, but it can be hard to understand why money is being spent on a road that looks good when so many others around town are cracked, potholed or crumbling. The answer: routine maintenance is the least expensive way to maintain a street.

Recognizing that our streets are deteriorating and that there is not enough funding to address all streets in Albany, the City Council’s direction for many years has been to use available funding to improve the condition of the most heavily used streets. The remaining streets have only had major maintenance on an emergency basis, or when the city was successful in finding additional outside funding. The result is that most of the busiest streets in the city are in fair or better condition while many local streets continue to decline.

The City Council is now considering options to better address the condition of all streets in Albany. These needs are not new. Past efforts to discuss the condition of Albany's streets, maintenance strategies, pavement management goals, and funding strategies to meet those goals go back decades.

Pavement is the largest capital investment in the transportation system but is only one piece of an entire system that needs attention. Bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities all need to be able to use streets safely, and all street systems need to plan for carrying more traffic as communities grow. Many of these needs are evaluated in long range planning documents but have inadequate funding to meet community goals. These unfunded needs go beyond pavement management alone.

Part 1 of 5:
Types of Streets

Part 2 of 5:
How Streets Are Rated

Part 3 of 5:
How Streets Are Maintained

Part 4 of 5:
A Smart Maintenance Strategy

Part 5 of 5:
Keeping Good Roads Good

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