City of Battle Ground street maintenance and preservation projects, underway this summer, are funded by residents of the city through a $20 TBD (Transportation Benefit District) fee assessed on vehicle tabs. The collection of TBD fees became effective in July of 2015 as a means to preserve the public's investment in streets. The revenue created, approximately $220,000 annually, cannot be diverted from its sole purpose of transportation infrastructure improvement projects within the City of Battle Ground.
This year's projects include the crack and slurry sealing of nearly 4 miles of neighborhood streets and renewed traffic lane striping throughout the city.
The crack and slurry sealing process protects streets from damaging water intrusion which would otherwise lead to potholes and eventual failure of the roadway. Crews began the project last week by applying asphalt rubber sealant to cracks in the streets. Slurry sealing, the application of a rock/oil mixture from curb to curb on the entire street, will take place in mid to late August and will complete the project.
Street maintenance and preservation, through the crack and slurry sealing process, should occur within 10-15 years of a street's construction. Doing so is the most cost effective method for extending the life of pavement. A street left unmaintained after that timeline will deteriorate rapidly and necessitate a more detailed and expensive method of repair. Just like a car that needs regularly scheduled oil changes, a street needs regular maintenance to function properly and meet its expected 50-year life span.
The city recognizes that many streets are in need of maintenance and repair. The usable life of a paved street is dependent on when and how it was constructed, how much it is used, its exposure to the elements, and preventive maintenance. Streets in Battle Ground range from one or two years old to several decades old. City engineers assess each roadway prior to choosing the appropriate and most cost effective method of maintenance or repair. The crack and slurry sealing process, while least costly, would not be the appropriate method to repair some older streets. Some streets necessitate a more expensive process referred to as mill and fill where the top surface of the roadway is milled away and replaced with fresh asphalt. Other roads, such as the portion of South Parkway between Rasmussen and Eaton, require complete reconstruction to remove and replace a failing base.
A decline in traditional sources of revenue for street projects and the recent recession created a budget environment that deferred significant amounts of street maintenance. The new TBD-generated revenue of about $220,000 annually allows the city to better maintain city roadways and leverage additional state and federal funding. In 2017 TBD funds of approximately $65,000 will be used as a local match in order to receive nearly $370,000 of state funding to complete a portion of the South Parkway Improvement Project.
For up-to-date information about ongoing street projects, follow the city's Facebook page at CityofBGWA. Information about the Battle Ground TBD, a map of this year's projects, and managing assets through street maintenance and preservation is available by selecting the Street Maintenance and Preservation link below.