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Citywide road repair program cruises through year one, looks forward to busy 2019

OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO - The Hitting the Streets program will support repaving efforts across the city of Gresham. Gresham residents should look forward to smooth roads in the future if a city program continues the success it had in its first year of implementation.

Gresham launched its "Hitting the Streets" initiative at the beginning of the year. The five-year program is expected to reconstruct local streets across Gresham that have experienced deteriorating and failed pavement for years. By the end, the city expects the program to address 25 percent of local streets.

During the Gresham City Council meeting Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 9, staff gave an update on how the first year went and what the future holds. In 2018, more than 30 lane miles were reconstructed, and 159 wheelchair ramps at corners were rebuilt. The focus in the first year were on streets with no known utility issues, as those would complicate scheduling.

"More than 1,600 properties now have new streets outside of their windows," said Chris Strong, transportation division manager.

The new asphalt should last between 35 and 50 years.

"We wanted to do this preventative work while it's still inexpensive to do so," Strong said.

A few things will be different in 2019, as the work will be more geographically concentrated. Most of the repairs will occur in the Powell Valley, Hollybrook and Duniway neighborhoods. The city will utilize its own concrete crew to work on the ramps alongside contractors, and streets requiring utility work will also be dealt with.

Pending weather, work on the ramps should begin in January, while the paving will take place between May and June.

"I've had three citizens from different parts of the city call me to say thanks for what we have done," said Councilor David Widmark.

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