The City of Perris approved $930,000 to continue its annual program of repairing and rehabilitating roadways before they become hazardous to travel—a plan that saves millions over the long term.
Project engineer Brad Brophy, in a presentation at this week’s City Council meeting, explained that Perris roadways are evaluated to determine whether they need minor, moderate or major repairs.
Most need minor maintenance improvements like slurry seal, a coat of material that smoothens the roadway and removes minor cracks. Slurry seal lasts up to seven years.
Some roadways require a new layer of coating that is applied in a process called grind and overlay. That involves grinding off the top two inches of road surface and replacing it with new material. Grind and overlaying can last 10 years or more. New pavement is installed on roads that previously were not paved or have deteriorated badly.
Brophy said yearly maintenance makes great financial sense. Every dollar spent to maintain roads saves $6 to $10 required for new construction or major renovations. A mile of newly paved roads can cost up to $1 million.
This year’s annual maintenance program begins in October and includes rehabilitation on about eight miles of roads. Most work involves applying slurry seal to neighborhood streets from one end of the City to the other. Grind and overlay work is scheduled for A Street. Small stretches of several dirt roads in Downtown and the south side of Perris are scheduled to be paved. This year’s maintenance program is expected to wrap up by mid-December.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said the City’s efforts have improved roads “by 1,000 percent” in recent years.
“We’ve done a lot to make our City a better place and safer place and maintaining our roads is high on that list,” Busch said. “Road maintenance has been proven to extend the life of our roads and the cost is very reasonable. It’s a very worthwhile program. It’s one of the responsibilities we as elected officials are called upon to address and we take that duty very seriously.”
Mayor Pro Tem Rita Rogers said the City’s commitment to annual maintenance allows Perris to create new outreach programs that residents expect and deserve.
“It’s wonderful to be pro-active and can think ahead to save our City money,” Rogers said. “By doing the little things we save big bucks. Our City is committed to keeping our roads safe. It’s wonderful to see the hard work pay off.”
City Councilwoman Tonya Burke called the road-maintenance program “a very big deal” that casts a good light onto Perris.
“Having well-maintained roads is about safety and beautification,” she said. “We have established a priority of going street to street to make sure all our streets are in excellent condition. This City continues to lead the region when it comes to implementing programs that keep Perris residents and motorist safe. Cities look to Perris to lead the way—and that’s a great feeling.”
City Councilman David Starr Rabb said maintaining infrastructure is one of the core responsibilities of government and he is glad Perris is more than keeping pace. Good roads reduce vehicle-maintenance costs for drivers while improving the appearance of the City, which benefits Perris residents, visitor and businesses.
“It speaks well of the City that we can pursue this needed maintenance and I look forward to continuing this good work,” Rabb said.
City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said the City Council once purchased a pot-hole filling machine to keep up with demand. But since the road maintenance program has proven so successful, the City sold it. Not enough potholes to fill to justify the costs. Yarbrough said each street is accessed on a regular schedule and maintenance is provided as necessary.
“We’re ahead of the game,” he said. “Our preventative maintenance saves the City a ton of money. And you can tell when you leave the City limits. The roads outside aren’t as good.”