Marion streets lack funds for repair

Several streets in the city of Marion are getting progressively worse. For street superintendent Marty Fredrickson, it?s a matter of patching the worst ones first.

?We have quite a few alligator-skin streets in town,? he said, referring to the appearance of the asphalt cracks.

One street in particular is the 100 block of South Roosevelt, which is a high-traffic area for emergency vehicles and heavy machinery to and from St. Luke Hospital?s construction site.

?Once the hospital project is completed, we plan to remove the (street) base and replace the asphalt with 6 to 8 inches of concrete,? he said.

Fredrickson said crews continue to shave the high spots on the west side of that street and they have done a type of patch for now.

Within the next six months, he anticipates the major construction will be completed, allowing street crews a chance to apply a better seal.

?It will still be a Band-Aid fix,? he said.

The street deterioration goes back at least 15 years ago, said Frederickson, when about 60 blocks of street were replaced with asphalt.

Fredrickson said he isn?t sure how the city paid for the new streets. But from what he understood, much of the work was not under the direct supervision of an inspector.

Many streets need base and sub-base reconstruction, he said. Yet, without an increase in sales tax or property tax, which would be an unpopular solution, the city is financially limited on what it can do, he said.

In recent months, Marion City Council members have heard from angry citizens about streets, and Mayor Mary Olson has continued to ask Fredrick?son for progress reports.

?We are trying to do the best we can,? he said.

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