Task Force Explores Who Should Pay For Deteriorating Woodbury Roads

Updated: 10/19/2013 9:59 AM KSTP.com By: Beth McDonough

Bump, cracked roads are nothing new for Minnesotans, however they are apparently a major problem in Woodbury this year.

City Officials say they might need $10 million to fix city streets, money they don't have.

They're reaching out to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for help.  The city is forming a task force to figure out why some roads are in disrepair, how to fix them and who should pay for it.

David Burns points out the unprecedented problem spots right in front of his Woodbury home. A few blocks away, his neighbors can relate, "it's not even at all." Nathan Tracy goes on to call it uneven, unsightly and unsafe, "riding on the groove could be dangerous."  

The official term for this is pavement failures. It starts with a crack and eventually turns into potholes.  

MnDOT made changes to its blacktop mix, they're checking to see if faulty seal coating may be the cause.

A city map shows paved streets in yellow, wearing out faster than expected.  It's widespread in Woodbury, roughly 90 miles worth.  There have been nearly 200 complaints in Woodbury and other communities with major development like Blaine, Lakeville and Maple Grove.  

The Mayor of Woodbury, Mary Stephens says, "We’ve built a lot of roads in the 80s and 90s.  They're starting to deteriorate 10-15 years earlier than would be a significant cost to the city." It may be as much as $10 million dollars, according to a city council memo, which is money the city doesn't have.  

One option being considered is passing the cost onto homeowners with an assessment.  

KSTP asked some residents how they feel about that possibility. Nathan Tracy replied, "Homeowners shouldn't have to pay for that, if the city decides to fix it, they should fix it right."  

David Burns says, "it really comes down to if it's a good deal for the homeowner or low-cost stop gap for the city, I'm willing to pay a little bit."

It's early in the process. The task force was approved this week. The brainstorming with MnDOT begins soon.

Pot holes can be reported to the city. Click here for more information.