Sun, Dec. 15

Cottonwood wants to upgrade its local roads
‘Curb and gutter’ is the city's goal

The Cottonwood Council wants its streets to look like city streets rather than paved dirt roads with crumbling street edges. Tuesday, the council asked the Public Works Director to develop a 25-year plan to upgrade streets "a little at a time" with curb and gutter treatments and in some cases sidewalks.

The issue arose as the council was reviewing standards for city streets. It was an issue that had been deferred from the council's annual retreat.

But improving the residential streets will mean the city will have to find a new source of revenue.

Duane Kirby started the discussion when he suggested that the city could prevent street edges from chipping away by adding curb and gutter to local streets. He said it also prevents infiltration of water that forms potholes. The effort does not have to involve "big money," according to Kirby. He believes the city could just do a mile or two each year.

Kirby pointed to Verde Heights, where streets have been kept in good condition for years because of the curb and gutter treatments there. On the other hand, "12th Street is a rotten piece of road."

Costello advised the council of the difference between the "rural edge" used in many subdivisions often created by a guy with a blade. The "pavement preservation" coat may amount to a half-inch of asphalt to maintain that street. Some streets have an adjacent drainage ditch.

By comparison, the street with a curb and gutter would be fully engineered and graded from scratch. Then "at least two inches of asphalt are used," according to Costello.

He says the cost of this year's Pavement Maintenance Program would be 10 times as costly if those streets were rebuilt with curb and gutters.

Mayor Diane Joens recalled that the city has conducted a survey in the past and "the biggest issues was its streets."

"Some neighborhoods don't warrant sidewalks," suggested Tim Elinski.

Kirby added that sidewalks could possibly be added through special districts.

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