The condition of roads is a major concern for residents of Brazil, and city officials are working toward rectifying the situation.
"It's no secret that there are a lot of roads in bad condition," Mayor Ann Bradshaw told The Brazil Times. "But we have a plan in place to start repairing and repaving them in the next year and years to come."
Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen said a couple of the big issues diverting the focus on repaving roads in recent years were the limited flexibility in the budget and the majority of the Cumulative Capital Development Fund -- which is used for infrastructure and road work -- having to be used on the sidewalk project.
"We've spent the past couple years getting the budget and funds in order and adjusting to funding changes with the property tax caps and new Local Option Income Tax," McQueen said. "Plus, we were also dedicated to completing the sidewalk project, which we were able to do earlier this year, meaning we can turn our focus to the roads."
She added while the sidewalk project is complete, funding still has to be set aside for maintenance and upkeep, but monies should be available in 2011 for repair and possibly repaving of city streets.
Earlier this year, Bradshaw and McQueen composed a list of 13 streets in the city they felt needed the most work, which was later submitted to Banning Engineering (Plainfield) Project Engineer Tabatha Briones, who broke down the condition of each road -- some in multiple sections -- and provided the city recommendations regarding the work that should be done.
According to the report created by Briones in June 2010, some sections were in good condition and required no immediate work, but on the sections which were in need of repair, the total estimated cost was $405,612, which also included considerations for contingency, mobilization of equipment and materials, along with the cost of providing traffic control during potential road work.
"Tabatha did a wonderful job analyzing every aspect of the streets, what was needed and cost factors beyond just strictly repaving and repairs," McQueen said.
Bradshaw added multiple factors will also be considered when it comes to determining which streets hold the highest priority.
"We have to put a higher priority on streets that have a higher level of traffic flow, as well as those, like Meridian Street, which run by a school," she said. "We may not be able to repave an entire road at one time because of funding, but with Tabatha breaking down each road into multiple sections, we can better identify the areas in which repaving and/or repairs would have the greatest effect on making the roads better and safer."
Progress has been made on the list as Pinckley Street, between State Road 59 and Murphy Avenue, was repaved in late October as part of an interlocal agreement between the city and the county.
"We were fortunate and grateful the county was willing work with us on Pinckley Street," Bradshaw said. "There are still a lot of streets we want to get to, but it all depends on funding, which unfortunately means we cannot make guarantees or promises on how much work on the road we will be able to do."
McQueen added, "We know the residents want their tax dollars to be used properly and we are going to try our best to do as much work on the roads as we possibly can."
The following is a list of streets (in alphabetical order) the City of Brazil provided to Banning Engineering, Plainfield, for analysis on the condition and level of work needed:
* North Alabama Street -- From United States 40 to Pinckley Street,
* South Chicago Street -- From U.S. 40 to White Rock Road,
* East Church Street -- From Lambert Street to Harrison Street,
* South Franklin Street -- From Jackson Street to Pinckley Street,
* South Grant Street -- From Center Street to White Rock Road,
* Jackson Street -- From State Road 59 to Vandalia Street,
* North Lambert Street -- From U.S. 40 to Hendrix Street,
* North McGuire Street -- From Hendrix Street to Central Avenue,
* North Meridian Street -- From U.S. 40 to Hendrix Street,
* South Morgan Street -- From Posey Street to White Rock Road,
* Pinckley Street -- From SR 59 to Murphy Avenue,
* North Sherman Street -- From Hendrix Street to Collins Street, and
* North Washington Street -- From U.S. 40 to Hendrix Street.
Note: Pinckley Street has since been completed.