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Keeping good roads good

Albany residents are concerned about our streets. We hear you. Albany streets are in a state of decline. We're not alone. Aging infrastructure, including streets, is a challenge for communities across the country. Find out here about the condition of Albany streets, how they are maintained, and the challenge of keeping them in good shape while meeting other community goals.

On average, Albany's streets are in "fair" condition. How do we keep good roads in good condition while improving those that need to be completely rebuilt? It is more practical to keep good roads good than it is to let them completely deteriorate and be rebuilt, but it can be hard to understand why money is being spent on a road that looks good when so many others around town are cracked, potholed or crumbling. The answer: routine maintenance is the least expensive way to maintain a street. 

Recognizing that our streets are deteriorating and that it is more cost effective to do periodic maintenance on good streets than it is to let them completely fail, the City Council initiated a street evaluation effort to move towards preserving and improving the condition of our roads. These needs or goals for our Council are not new. Since 2017, we have renewed discussions about the condition of Albany's streets, maintenance strategies, pavement management goals, and funding strategies to meet those goals. 

Pavement is the largest capital investment in the transportation system but is only one piece of an entire system that needs attention. Bicyclists, pedestrians and people with disabilities all need to be able to use streets safely, and all street systems need to plan for carrying more traffic as communities grow. Many of these needs are evaluated in long range planning documents but have inadequate funding to meet community goals. These unfunded needs go beyond pavement management alone.