Council members ask for more details with streets upgrade update in Port Arthur

Published 11:04 pm Friday, September 15, 2023

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The city’s six year plan to repair its streets is moving along with 116 completed and 16 in progress, Port Arthur leaders announced this week.

Flozelle Roberts, director of public works, told councilmembers of the work done since the inception of the city’s Streets Program in 2019.

Streets currently in progress include:

  • 15th Street from Lake Charles to Orange
  • Beaumont Avenue from Rev. Dr. Ransom Howard to Thomas Boulevard
  • Nashville Avenue from Rev. Dr. Ransom Howard to 11th Street
  • Duff Drive from Lakeshore Drive to Procter Street
  • 5th Avenue from 25th Street to 28th Street
  • 5th Avenue from 32nd Street to 39th Street
  • 47th Street from southwest end to Shreveport
  • El Paso Avenue from FM 365 to 90th Street
  • Lake Charles Avenue from Gulfway Drive to north end
  • Mobile Avenue from 14th Street to northwest end
  • Mobile Avenue from Thomas Boulevard to Nederland
  • Orange Avenue form Gulfway Drive to 19th Street

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Roberts said the next round of streets will include four roads. They are:

  • West 6th Street from Abe Lincoln to Denbo
  • Grannis Avenue from West Procter to 7th Street
  • 12th Street from Austin to Savannah
  • Salisbury Drive from Procter Street to dead end

Roberts presented the information, showing which districts the streets were in, but councilmembers Harold Doucet and Thomas Kinlaw III noted the city now has new district lines based on the May election.

Doucet and Kinlaw requested an updated list showing the streets along with their correct districts.

“We need this information that’s publicly known because we’re not hiding anything,” Kinlaw said during the recent council meeting. “We want people to know we’re going to get to your street. We’re doing a lot of streets, we’re spending a lot of money to get the streets done in the city of Port Arthur.”

Kinlaw also asked for quarterly updates on the streets to better inform residents.

City Manager Ron Burton said on Friday the quarterly updates would reflect the election map.

The city embarked on the 6-year, $60 million street repair project in 2019. At that time, council approved the use of a vehicle that would perform an analysis on each road within the city, identifying those in greatest need of repair.

While driving, the vehicle provided an x-ray of each street, providing information on its structure and other related data. But the vehicle did not identify other areas that were pertinent to providing accurate repairs — it only provided the street condition and not whether there were one, two or zero houses on the street.

Last year councilmembers joined city staff to evaluate the streets in their respective districts to ensure those marked urgent for repairs were as widely used as those marked less urgent.

In addition, last April city staff realized previous employees had not maintained proper records of streets that had already been addressed.

When the city changed primary engineers mid-way through the project, they had to revisit previously scheduled repairs to update the database on which had and hadn’t been addressed.

Then inflation became a factor almost doubling the cost of repairs that were first budgeted in 2018.