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The Mayor’s email to Council regarding drainage and street repair

This email from Mayor Parker to City Council members about the estimated costs of street and drainage repairs found its way into my Inbox, and I’m sharing it with you because it’s something you should know about, too.

Any long-term street and drainage plan for Houston must include: bringing substandard storm drains and streets up to standard, replacing infrastructure that is to-standard today but will eventually deteriorate and maintaining normal operations and maintenance.

The $2 billion figure cited by some is a 1999 figure and is specific to just one component of these requirements, the upgrade of our existing substandard systems identified in the City’s Comprehensive Drainage Plan. When considered in terms of 2010 numbers, and reflecting both inflation and projects that we have been able to implement, we estimate the current correction of substandard systems today will cost $3.0 billion. This $3.0 billion is the cost to fix what’s broken right now, and what is not yet constructed in the City.

The $3.0 billion figure does not include:

  • The cost of eventual replacement of currently adequate drainage systems that will eventually age and need replacement or major rehabilitation;
  • The cost of full-width street replacement that will invariably be needed to accomplish many of those drainage upgrades;
  • The cost to reconstruct the current backlog of City thoroughfare and collector streets that have pavement condition ratings of less than 50 out of 100;
  • The cost of future replacement of streets that will continue to deteriorate to poor condition over the next two decades;
  • The cost for reconstruction of local streets that serve our neighborhoods, or local streets on which businesses and industries are located,

When all of the needs outlined above are considered, Houston’s total funding requirements amount to approximately $10 Billion over the next 20 years. Anything less would leave the City unable to adequately address our infrastructure needs.

There’s more, so go read it. You want to argue with these figures, take it up with the Mayor’s office. And don’t miss this op-ed by Bayou Preservation Association Chair Kevin Shanley, too.

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2 Comments

  1. JJMB says:

    Is this meant as support for Prop 1?

    If things are this bad, why wasn’t Prop 1 the Mayor’s initiative to begin with? Why didn’t she twist arms to get all the CMs to endorse it? (Or at least not have 5 actively try to kill it.) Why isn’t her campaign team running the approval process? She has been very passive about it all. This is a strong mayor form of government, and she should use that.

  2. Martha Griffin says:

    Oh, I got this in my inbox, too, and my question is that if PWE has modern tools and an implementation plan, WHAT IS THE PLAN? I mean, come on. Be transparent! I agree with all of what JJMB said, as well.