Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski released the list of streets that will see construction this year as the city tries to repair a widespread network of roads in horrible condition.
Two-thirds of the city’s streets are rated poor or worse. The city’s political leaders have put in motion an effort to both rebuild the roads that need it and to preserve others before they fall into disrepair.
The 2018 construction list includes eight projects, half that seek to preserve roads and the other half that will lead to the complete reconstruction of portions of the roads.
All of the preservation work will occur on the east side of town, on 1200 East, 1500 East, 2100 East and 1700 South between 1700 East and 1900 East.
The city will rebuild a half-mile stretch of road in an industrial area on the city’s far-west side south of the airport. It will also rebuild Simpson Avenue between Wyoming and Broadmoor streets (about 2400 East); Wilmington Avenue from 2000 East to 2100 East; and Genesee Avenue from 900 West to 1000 West.
The projects will cost $5 million and aren’t being paid for with part of the recent $33 million sales tax increase the City Council approved.
The council is also weighing whether to ask voters this November to approve an $87 million bond that would help pay for more street repair and maintenance. Roads cost far more to reconstruct than to preserve.
Additionally, the City Council is scheduled Tuesday to debate a proposed .25 percent countywide sales-tax hike that would raise money for roads and transit.
Biskupski said the list comes after consulting with the city’s public utilities department and others in her administration about how the city could get more for its money.
“This isn’t about favoring a neighborhood,” the mayor said. “This is about being very cooperative internally with our public utilities, our streets, our transportation teams to make sure we are maximizing efficiency and effectiveness.”
Biskupski said once the city has more money for road construction — either through sales tax increases or possibly also money from an $87 million bond — it would try and pick projects that also link up with utilities needs.
“We’ve gotta make sure we’re not tearing up roads after we’ve done them,” she said.
Salt Lake City’s Complete Streets ordinance requires bike lanes to be put in during new construction or reconstruction projects.
The Gladiola Street project will also include the planting of 40 new trees, Biskupski said.