A bumpy ride


Benjamin Prengler

Construction is being done on the raised portion of the road near the intersection of Angel Parkway and Estates Parkway.

Noah Corbitt, Staff Reporter

Potholes that formed on the road in the wake of the several winter storm cycles over the North Texas area are wreaking havoc on cars and drivers.

“I’ve noticed that there’s a ton more [potholes],” sophomore Cooper Marion said. “And its caused people to drive more stupidly, considering that they’re trying to dodge them and it ends up nearly hitting people in other lanes or nearly going off of the road.”

As water on a section of road seeps into the ground, it can then freeze and expand during the cooler nights and melt and runoff into another road section during the day. This process deteriorates the interior road structure, and when combined with traffic pressures, some of the material can be removed, forming a pothole in the road.

Now that the threat of freezing temperatures is gone, the process of repairing the roads begins.

“Potholes are not a onetime event, but rather occur on an ongoing basis,” Lucas Mayor Rebecca Mark said. “This time of year generally is our rainy season, and we likely haven’t seen the last of the rains.  New areas of potholes crop up on an ongoing basis when you have this kind of weather for an extended period of time.  As we become aware of potholes, we evaluate them for severity and the repair them as quickly as possibly based on the level of safety hazard they present. Our public works personnel do go around the city and monitor our roads on an ongoing basis.

The funding to repair the roads comes from a combination of sources.

“As respect to city streets, there are two funding sources,” Mark said. “First are the property taxes that flow into our General Fund, and, second, of the city portion of sales taxes, $.25 is specifically allocated for streets and roads, [which is] one-fourth of one cent.”

Road repair also faces challenges when it comes to who is responsible for the work.

“The biggest overall issue is working with TXDOT and Collin County to coordinate repair of roads that are not within our jurisdiction,” Mark said. “Most ‘major’ roads crossing throughout the city are not under our jurisdiction.  These include Estates Parkway, East Lucas Road, and Country Club Road.  They are all state roads and we don’t maintain them. We only maintain city roads.”

The issue is an ongoing process that affects local residents, but progress is being made.

“We monitor road conditions, and our annual budget includes allocation of funds for repairs and maintenance,” Mark said. “When aging roads need to be rebuilt, we then include them as capital projects and consider other funding opportunities.  We are in the middle right now of doing a street and road assessment to determine what projects are critical and which ones can be delayed.”