Oliver Goldsmith wrote, “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” I have made it one of my missions as Lebanon Mayor to help make the journey through life, for Lebanon residents and the city’s visitors, travel a little bit smoother.
When I came into office in 2015, more than half of the city’s 98 miles of roads were given a poor rating. 78% of our roads were rated fair or below. I knew that the quality of our streets had to be improved.
In 2016 our street crews were able to pave nine miles of our lowest quality streets. We have been even more aggressive in 2017.
To date, 28 road resurfacing projects have been completed this year. Larry Lee and his team have been working incredibly hard to complete these projects as efficiently as possible. Keep in mind, crews aren’t just putting good asphalt over a roadway crumbling beneath it. The team uses grinders to remove the old pavement, and it is replaced with blacktop that will last much longer. They are also installing sidewalk ramps that are in compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) which makes getting around town much easier for those with disabilities.
One of the more comprehensive road projects currently underway around the city has been taking place along East Street, from Memorial Park to Washington St. This project is a complete road reconstruction, which includes replacing 100+ year old water mains, wastewater system, storm-water system, sidewalks, landscaping, and road surface. Due to all of the infrastructure improvements that were needed, the East Street project has been a time consuming challenge in 2017. At this time the contractor projects a completion date in December of this year, however by contract the project must be completed by the spring of 2018.
While I know road construction can be frustrating, I wholeheartedly believe that the long-term benefits outweigh some short-term headaches. For too long our infrastructure has been neglected and I am glad to see our recent efforts making an impact. This is by no means the end of our infrastructure focus, this is the just beginning.
As always, if you have any thoughts or opinions you’d like to share, please email me.