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Next Steps for Street Repair Bond

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EUGENE, Ore. — Lane County voters made their heard voices loud and clear Tuesday night, approving almost every bond and levy on the ballot.

One of the bonds with voter support will fix Eugene streets.

The stretch of road on 13th Avenue from Washington to Garfield streets is one of the bigger priorities on the list for public works, but they say it’s still too early to decide what they’ll tackle first. After all, they have to prioritize 76 projects that were just approved.

Eugene voters passed a $43 million street repair bond with an overwhelming 64 percent.

“There’s a lot of engineering and design planning and coordinating with utilities and things like that that we’ll get a head start on now,” said Eric Jones, Eugene Public Works spokesperson.

Public works crews already started to prioritize projects. But it’s not a quick process.

“It takes more than a year actually to design and plan a major project like fixing 13th avenue,” Jones said.

Thirteenth avenue is one of many of the bigger undertakings.

Jones says crews will work on 1st Avenue, 5th Avenue, and a lot of sections of Willamette Street and 30th Avenue that are in the city. They’ll also continue working on Coburg Road.

Some of those streets may not look their absolute worst, but take a quick drive through the logic of road repair; Better to fix a busted shingle before your roof starts leaking. Neighbors along these streets agree.

“I think that this road could definitely use some work especially a little further down the street there’s potholes,” said 13th Avenue resident Elijah Salazar.

“Come in and grind off the top layers, put a new asphalt surface on this thing and get another 20 years out of this roadway,” Jones said.

“There probably comes a point where patching it up is not cost effective anymore,” said 13th Avenue resident Carolee Hirsch.

But the bond doesn’t dead end on roads. More than $5,000 a year goes to bicyclist and pedestrian improvements.

“I’m much more of a bicyclist and definitely what attracted me to this bond was the pike paths,” Salazar said.

“My daughters both use their bicycles a lot so whatever keeps them safe, and I walk a lot,” Hirsch said.

Construction will start in 2014. Meanwhile, the city is still finishing up the last of the projects on the list from that 2008 bond.

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