UPDATE Oct. 10, 2010: City of San Antonio crews are already at work. From Burr St. South to Funston repairs are underway. The Alamo Heights section, however, seems worse than ever before with actual street holes now that could damage vehicles and perhaps cause accidents.
AlamoCityTimes.com Patricio Espinoza talks to residents in the area frustrated of driving on N. New Braunfels between Funston Pl. and Austin Hwy. where a great percentage of the street has been in need of repairs for years. In the process of preparing this report, ACTimes Tony Cantu finds out how repairs could be done before year’s end. And Photographer Bernessa Jakle captures the scene.
:: Includes Interactive Multi-Media: ride along video, map & locations, video report and slideshow. And scroll down to find out when repairs are expected.
:: Story funding provided by Community Contributors like you and SPOT.us
:: A Fix appears to be near
Motorists traveling along North New Braunfels Avenue – particularly the stretch between Funston Place and Austin Highway – have grown accustomed to the frustrations of traveling on roadway in dire need of repair.
Road repairs have taken a long time to fix given a triple layer of bureaucratic red tape, with three different jurisdictions having to sign off on repairs. But now, repairs are on the horizon with expected completion expected before the end of the year.
San Antonio and Alamo Heights share responsibilities for the repairs.
The City of Alamo Heights is responsible for repair work on the section of North New Braunfels between Austin Highway and Burr. But officials had to wait on proceeds from a $7.5 million bond issuance before starting on citywide street repair, including the area along North New Braunfels. Work on the roadway was further delayed by preliminary water main improvements and consultations with neighboring city Terrell Hills to ensure they were apprised of the work to be performed.
Add to that the portion that the City of San Antonio has over its jurisdiction – the stretch of North New Braunfels between Austin Highway and Pershing Avenue, an artery running north of Funston Place – and one begins to understand the prolonged nature of achieving such work.
At long last, motorists may finally see relief.
Shawn Eddy, the public works director for the city of Alamo Heights, said his city’s portion of the roadway should be fixed by November, although no specific date was provided.
“We agree that the street is in rough shape, and we have scheduled a mill and overlay of the pavement as soon as needed water main improvements by both SAWS and the City of Alamo Heights are completed,” Eddy said, referencing the San Antonio Water System.
The public works director noted the Alamo Heights has coordinated all the work in the area with not only SAWS and San Antonio, but the neighboring city of Terrell Hills as well. Funding for the Alamo Heights portion of repair work is part of a $7.5 million issuance of city debt – a series of certificates of obligation not requiring voter approval – which the Alamo Heights City Council approved in 2007.
San Antonio’s portion of N. New Braunfels repairs to begin this week.
For their part, San Antonio city officials have scheduled to begin work on their portion of roadway starting this week, said April Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the city’s public works department. The City of San Antonio is responsible for the stretch of N. New Braunfels between Austin Highway and Pershing Avenue, an artery that runs just north of Funston Place.
The entire area is heavily traveled not only by residents of the area but by visitors lured to a number of points of interest in the area, which only serves to add to the wear and tear of city streets. On the west side of North New Braunfels is the San Antonio Country Club, while on its east side are situated both the University of the Incarnate Word and Trinity University past Broadway.
Also in the area’s midst is Brackenridge Park with its popular zoo attraction and adjacent municipal golf course along with Mahncke Park. And easily accessed via N. New Braunfels is Fort Sam Houston, which is set to grow exponentially in staff as a result of recent action by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission to bolster the military installation’s mission.
San Antonio public works spokeswoman Hernandez said the contractor on the project expects to finish the work by Sept. 30. She said the cost to repair San Antonio’s portion of the road work is an estimated $160,000, part of a so-called rolling five-year plan the city has set as a goal.
Hernandez said she empathizes with motorists’ frustrations, but explained the City of San Antonio has roughly 12,000 miles of street currently in need of repair.
:: Drive Along N. New Braunfels
City officials use a rating system – the Pavement Condition Rating or PCR – in judging the urgency of repairs, assigning a category to each street that ranges from failed and very poor to very good and excellent, she said. The number of complaints to the city’s 311 help line also is taken into account, she said.
“We prioritize streets based on PCR,” she said. “But we have 12,000 lane miles of street network. The network is so large, in order to be able to reach as many streets as possible, we developed the PCR system. This is not to say that one street is more important than another.”
San Antonio officials developed a five-year plan outlining streets to be fixed in that time period. After passage of the city budget on Sept. 16, officials were able to post a new schedule of street repairs running from 2011 to 2015, she noted.
More information on slated street repairs can be found at sanantonio.gov/publicworks
:: Interactive Maps & Photos
Click on photos to enlarge. You can drag map around with your mouse, zoom in/out.
View N. New Braunfels 78209 in a larger map
:: Photos Slideshow
Roll-over mouse to see Slideshow play button.