Basin PBS held a mayoral candidate forum on October 3, allowing the three candidates to answer questions and debate on topics impacting the City of Midland.
During the forum, candidate Jenny Cudd was asked a question about roads and maintenance, but her answer has prompted some digging to verify if this is actually true.
The City of Midland says they fixed roads that were in the worst conditions first, but Greentree Boulevard was the first road to get paved. Mayor Jerry Morales and candidate Patrick Payton both live on Greentree Boulevard.
The road projects were initially planned to be done based on the condition of the roadway, and Greentree Boulevard was initially much further down on the list. However, the conditions for road repair changed.
WHAT WE FOUND:
Jose Ortiz, the Engineering Services Director for the City of Midland, told NewsWest 9 the roads were evaluated in 2014 and again in 2017.
The pavement condition index showed the overall grade for the city was not good, and in fact getting worse. The city council determined they would need over $200 million to get all the roads back into shape.
Staff began working on a plan that would be used for the five-year roadway program. Roads were prioritized based on the condition of the road, the number of service requests the city had received for the road, how much the repairs would cost, how ready the roads were for repairs and the condition of any utilities under the road.
Ortiz also told us no direction on the priorities of the roads were given by any city council member or members of the city management team.
Greentree Boulevard was originally set to be repaired in the third or fourth year of the project, but was moved up after workers began looking at the conditions and work other roads needed.
City officials say that while Greentree wasn't the worst road, there were no utilities underneath it that needed to be repaired. Since work could be started soon and done quickly, the road was moved up the list on the project.
There were other streets that were being looked at to be moved up besides Greentree, but they would have required extra time for repairs, including storm water needs and utility work. These roads were determined to be ready for the second or third year of the project.
Greentree Boulevard was the first road to be repaired in the bond project, even though it was not the worst road. However, it was moved up because city officials determined it would be better for the project as a whole since the road needed little maintenance.
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