The Neosho City Council was presented a preliminary streets plan Tuesday evening, which gives a tentative outline of planned street improvements through 2017.

The Neosho City Council was presented a preliminary streets plan Tuesday evening, which gives a tentative outline of planned street improvements through 2017.

Mike Hightower, the city’s public works director, said the roadwork will begin soon, with plans to go out for bid as early as next week.  

The public works department’s street plan calls for $182,000 in street improvements this year, with work estimated to be wrapping up by October.

The 2013 street improvements consist of new overlay for Hilldale Drive, Southard Drive, Wall Street, High Street from South Street to Highway 60, Young Street from Smith Avenue to Thrasher Avenue, Smith Avenue from High Street to Young Street, a portion of North Lincoln Street and Harmony Street from Valley Street to the Neosho Boulevard.

“Our goal here is to try to preserve the streets we’ve got plus try to fix some of the bad ones,” Hightower said. “We had allotted out here $182,000 worth of streets, but we might not make that, I’ve got $175,000 in the budget, depending how bids come in.”

Hightower said if a project does not happen in the current year it is planned, it will be moved to the next year’s list of projects.

The 2013 plan also calls for repairs to concrete sections at Hickory Street and St. John Street, Cockrell Drive and Howard Bush Drive, and at the Stratford drain. 

He said in preparing the street improvement plan, the city’s roadways were categorized as being in excellent, good, fair, poor or bad condition.

He said most streets in bad or poor condition need overlay, while the fair streets need to be crack sealed.
“The experts tell us you’ve got to start preserving what you have, then fix the bad ones as you can or you get so far behind you can’t catch up,” Hightower said.

The 2014 street plans are the most expensive in the five-year plan, with $609,000 worth of improvements proposed.

The schedule includes overlay for Kingsbury Road, Industrial Drive, Clemons Drive, and Laramie Lane, for an estimated cost of $319,000.

The 2014 plan also includes micro seal for Highway 59, south of Malcolm Mosby Drive, with a price tag of approximately $290,000.

“Slurry seal is OK for residential areas, if you get in a high traffic area a micro seal is better, because you get traffic back on it sooner,” Hightower said.

He said the street department would also need to go ahead of the slurry and micro seal work and seal some cracks in the city’s streets.

Hightower said the city might also look into securing some Surface Transportation Program funds, which is funding from the federal government allocated through the state, to help the city pay for the Highway 59 project.
“My goal on the budget, I think we can handle close to $400,000 a year in our actual budget if we really squeeze things down and watch it,” Hightower said.

The plan for 2015 projects $415,000 in road improvements, with four streets set to receive new overlay and 24 streets scheduled for slurry seal.

The expected project costs decrease in 2016, with four streets planned to get new overlay and 16 streets scheduled for slurry seal, for a total of approximately $310,000.

In 2017, four streets are scheduled for overlay, while seven roadways are planned to receive new slurry seal, for a total of approximately $411,000.

“After three or four years out there things can change,” Hightower said. “Weather changes and so there may be some fluctuation in there.”

Hightower said he plans to fine tune the streets plan and maps and then return to council with the final plan.
“That’s a great start,” said councilman David Ruth. “At least we have a plan now, at least we can see some light at the end of the tunnel.”

“I think it’s good to be able to say that we’re going to start spending $400,000 a year to start fixing streets,” added Mayor Pro Tem Steve Hart.