Annual road repaving to start next week in Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Road work will begin next week across from Cedar Rapids as part of the city’s annual “Paving for Progress” program.

The program is paid for by a local option sales tax that was passed by voters in 2013.

Cedar Rapids taxpayers said there are quite a few roads across the city that could use work.

“It’s just like, bumping all the way,” resident Troy Williams said. “Like I could probably get an instant headache from some of the roads and potholes. Man, it’s crazy.”

“I even drive a truck, and it’s pretty bumpy most of the time,” added Ethan Hale, who goes to school in Cedar Rapids. “I think you could bottom out quite a few times if you’re not careful.”

This year’s Paving for Progress list includes 50 sections of roads across the city.

Paving for Progress Program Manager Doug Wilson said about 60 percent of the roads on this year’s list are residential roads, while the remaining 40 percent are more heavily traveled streets.

He said the city gets about $18.5 million from the sales tax every year, and they use a biennial study from Iowa State University on road stress to help determine which roads make the list.

“It would cost us, we estimated, about $500 million, over the 10 years, to get everything in good or better condition,” Wilson said. “So we get $185 million, so that’s why we have to find that balance between preserving pavement and reconstructing pavement.”

Wilson said reconstruction projects, which happen on more of the heavily traveled roads, eat up much of the program’s budget, though he said maintenance work on roads that are less damaged is necessary as well.

“Just like when you do maintenance on your car, if you never did maintenance on your car, it would eventually fall apart, and you’d have to replace it,” he said. “If we didn’t do that preventative maintenance, sealing cracks, sealing the surface, doing some asphalt overlays and asphalt resurfacing, we’d end up with streets that are in really poor conditions overall.”