Robinson City Council is moving forward with work to improve the worst of the city’s streets while planning for further road work in the coming years.

The council Tuesday agreed to start on plans to address McLendon Drive, Nelson Street, Cindy Avenue, Bunker Drive, Hillview Drive, Hoffmeyer Lane and Downsville Road.

City Manager Craig Lemin said city staff and Walker Partners have worked in the past eight weeks on a comprehensive street program for maintenance and repairs, and he hopes to get several projects started this year.

However, work on some of the worst streets will require third-party utility lines to be replaced, and some extensive drainage work, which will take additional time.

Walker Partners client manager Clark W. Gauer said city leaders initially gave the company 18 streets to study before the list was narrowed.

There are 80.1 miles of Robinson streets, and they were ranked into six categories in a 2013 inventory. Streets selected for immediate work fell in the worst three categories, which account for 59.3 percent of the roads, or 47.5 miles. Streets in excellent shape make up 5.4 percent, or 4.3 miles, of the total.

Staff and elected leaders took the last council meeting to the streets to look at the complexity of some of the issues surrounding certain locations. Several streets are too narrow for two cars to safely pass one another, and with the narrow right of way, options are limited. Gauer also pointed out areas historically known for drainage problems.

“Most areas don’t have adequate right of way to move those ditches out and provide for proper drainage,” he said.

Lemin said it will make sense in some sections to bid out waterline, sewer and street work in one project. But those projects will take more time to prep for work than sections where only street work is needed.

Council members discussed whether to partner with McLennan County on various projects, but several council members raised concerns about the quality of work done by the county.

Council member Jimmy Rogers said it may cost the city more now to hire a company instead of receiving a discounted rate from the county. However, that savings may not last if repairs are needed shortly after work is done, Rogers said.

Gauer said Walker Partners will be able to narrow down potential costs as it finalizes work plans for the proposed list of streets, which will allow the council to weigh its options moving forward.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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