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City is paving multiple streets throughout Prineville to improve town's overall pavement condition index

The City of Prineville Public Works Department expects to repair a lot of local streets his summer.

In fact, Street Supervisor Scott Smith said this will be the largest amount of paving projects the city has completed in his 31 years of employment.

Tri-County Paving, of Bend, was hired to complete the approximately $783,000 of road paving, which is set to begin midway through next month.

Crews will repave Northeast Fourth Street from Elm Street to Fairview Street, Southeast Second Street between Fairview Street and Idlewood Street, and Fairview Street from Southeast Fourth Street to Lynn Boulevard. Also slated for repaving is Industrial Park Road from Gardener Road to the entrance of SMAF Construction, and High Desert Drive from the new Tom McCall/Highway 126 roundabout to the front gate of Apple's data center.

The city plans to repave North Main Street from Peters Road to the edge of the city limits near Apollo Road, however they will also oversee a county repaving effort that picks up at the city boundary and continues another two miles down the road.

During the past couple years, county road crews have been repaving McKay Road coming toward Prineville. The two-mile stretch is all that remains of that effort.

"Rather than each of us putting out separate projects, we are bidding out (the county work) as part our project, and they will reimburse the city," Smith explained. The county work will cost about $235,000.

Another departure from the norm, the city is planning to repave Stearns Road as well as Williamson Road and its cross-streets Slayton Court and Baldwin Court with a thinner 1.5-inch overlay instead of the typical 2-3 inches. In addition, the overlay will be done with 3/8-inch rock rather than half-inch.

"We can stretch the quantity further that way," Smith explained. "(Those roads) don't get a lot of heavy truck traffic, and we are not seeing any issues with the base, so that is a good alternative there."

Paving Williamson Road and its cross-streets will present access challenges because the small neighborhood only has one access point off of Highway 26. Smith said crews will maintain emergency access for Carriage House, an assisted living facility on Williamson, and will provide ways for residents to enter and exit the neighborhood.

"I will go door to door or send letters to each residence, and once we have a fairly firm (construction) date, ask people to minimize trips," Smith said. "There will be a lot of flagging. We ask that people have patience and try to find a city worker to ask before just driving out in it."

Work on those streets is expected to take only one day, however, the repaving effort on North Main Street/McKay Road is scheduled for three days of work.

"That will be full-blown traffic control," Smith said. "The contractor will run pilot cars to get traffic in and out."

The summer road construction is part of an ongoing effort by the city to improve its pavement condition index. Smith said the city has its roads inspected every two years and plans its maintenance schedule accordingly. The goal is to get city streets to an average PCI index of 82 out of 100. Currently, the average is 71.

"When you repave a street, you start out at 100, and it has a good 10-year life before starting to decline," Smith said. "So we are in the process of making an investment to get that overall PCI back up. Ultimately, once you achieve that mid-80s average, maintenance going forward becomes much less expensive and not as impactful to the public."

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